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Pakistan's ICC Women's U19 T20 World Cup journey ends with loss to New Zealand

Potchefstroom, 24 January 2023: Pakistan Women’s U19 team bowed out of ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup with a defeat to New Zealand in a Super Six stage Group-2 clash here on Tuesday.

Set a daunting target of 179, Pakistan finished with 75-7 in their 20 overs – 103 runs short of New Zealand’s first-innings total. The colossal win for New Zealand confirmed their spot in the semi-finals as they continued their unbeaten run in the tournament.

Pakistan’s chase was beset by a top-order collapse that left them reeling at 17-4 by the end of the Powerplay. Openers Shawaal Zulfiqar and in-form Eyman Fatima were both dismissed for ducks while Warda Yousaf lost her wicket from a miscommunication with her skipper Syeda Aroob Shah resulting in a run out. Aroob was the fourth batter to fall when a leading edge induced by Natasha Codyre was pouched by the fielder at mid-off.

Laiba Nasir was soon run out with half the side out for 19 before Areesha Noor and Aliza Khan stitched a partnership of 32 runs for the sixth wicket.

Pakistan managed to score a total of only four boundaries over the course of their innings with top-scorer Areesha (24) striking two fours while Aroob and Anoosha Nasir smacked a boundary apiece.

In the bowling front, Anoosha claimed three wickets for 32 runs, extending her tally of wickets in the tournament to ten in five games – leading the charts at the moment. She broke the brisk opening stand between Emma McLeod (32) and Anna Browning (31), who added 47 runs in 29 balls and later snaffled the wickets of Georgia Plimmer (53) and Paige Loggenberg (0) in the final over of the innings.

Skipper Aroob also bowled a sharp spell, giving away just 22 runs in her four overs and outfoxing Tash Wakelin (8) with a googly that rattled the stumps.

In contrast to Pakistan’s inability to hit boundaries later in the game, New Zealand’s aggressive strokeplay yielded a total of 19 fours and two sixes as they raced to 178-7. Plimmer was the standout batter for her side as she continued the rapid start from the openers by scoring a 38-ball 53 studded with five fours.

New Zealand and England are the two teams in the Super Six Group-2 advancing into the semi-finals while the remaining two spots from Group-1 will be decided tomorrow.

Pakistan’s campaign in the inaugural ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup saw them put up good performances to clinch wins against Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Ireland, whereas they faced defeats against England and New Zealand.

Scores in Brief:

New Zealand Women’s U19 178-7, 20 overs (Georgia Plimmer 53, Emma McLeod 32, Anna Browning 31; Anoosha Nasir 3-32, Mahnoor Aftab 2-46)

Pakistan Women’s U19 75-7, 20 overs (Areesha Noor 24; Natasha Codyre 2-14)

Player of the match – Georgia Plimmer (New Zealand)