Pakistan and New Zealand women T20I series commences tomorrow

Pakistan women’s team are all set to take on New Zealand in their own backyard when both sides meet in the first of the three T20I match series at the University of Otago Oval in Dunedin on Sunday afternoon. The second T20I will also be staged at the same venue on Tuesday, while the third T20I will be played at the Sir John Davies Oval in Queenstown on Saturday, 9 December. All three T20Is will start at 1300 local time.

At the conclusion of T20I series on the tour, both sides are scheduled to play three ODIs – part of the ICC Women’s Championship. These matches will take place from 12 to 18 December in Queenstown and Christchurch.

Since arriving in New Zealand on 25 November, Pakistan women’s team had a couple of training sessions and practice games in Christchurch before traveling to Dunedin on Friday afternoon. The team also had a three-hour training session today under the supervision of coaching staff at the University of Otago Oval in Dunedin.

New Zealand, at present, maintain a 100 per cent winning record against Pakistan women in eight head-to-head outings. Pakistan left-arm spinners Nashra Sundhu and Sadia Iqbal are positioned at the fifth and seventh spots, respectively, in the ICC Women’s T20I rankings and are looking forward to performing well for the team in the upcoming series. Nashra is one match shy of completing 50 T20I appearances for Pakistan. In the all-rounder category, captain Nida Dar is placed on the fifth position in the ICC T20I rankings.

Talking to PCB Digital on the eve of the start of the T20I series, Nida Dar said, “New Zealand are known for their cricketing excellence, and we respect that. However, we are here to compete, and I have faith in the players who can do good for the team in the series.

“We see the forthcoming T20I series as an opportunity for our players to perform against one of the most formidable sides in the world. In the recent past, a lot of young players have been given opportunities, with five players making their debut this year and being a part of the touring squad.

“We are looking ahead to next year’s T20 World Cup, and with a minimum of nine T20Is to be played before the mega event, the series against New Zealand provides us with a chance to work on the combination of the team for next year’s event.

“The series against New Zealand also allows us to assess our strengths and areas of improvement. It’s a valuable experience, and I am sure the players have now got a good idea of the conditions here after playing practice matches and also undergoing training sessions.”

Pakistan squad:

Nida Dar (captain), Aliya Riaz, Bismah Maroof, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Muneeba Ali (wk), Najiha Alvi (wk), Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Sidra Amin, Umm-e-Hani and Waheeda Akhtar

Series schedule:
3 Dec – 1st T20I, Dunedin (1pm local time)
5 Dec – 2nd T20I, Dunedin (1pm local time)
9 Dec – 3rd T20I, Queenstown (1pm local time)
12 Dec – 1st ODI, Queenstown (11am local time) (ICC Women’s Championship)
15 Dec – 2nd ODI, Christchurch (2pm local time) (ICC Women’s Championship)
18 Dec – 3rd ODI, Christchurch (2pm local time) (ICC Women’s Championship)

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