The White Ferns remain on track in their pursuit of the ICC Women’s One Day World Cup, after comfortably beating Pakistan by seven wickets at Barabati Stadium in India.
The win guarantees the New Zealanders will advance through to the super-six stage, with their third and final group match still to be played.
Following a brilliant display of bowling from Rachel Candy (five for 19), captain Suzie Bates (65*) then led the effort with the bat to knock off Pakistan’s first-innings total of 104 after 29.4 overs.
Bates and co-opener Lucy Doolan put on 25 for the first wicket, before the latter departed for 11. Two further cheap wickets fell in Amy Satterthwaite (7) and Sara McGlashan (0) to have the White Ferns looking slightly susceptible at 39 for three.
The skipper however continued to play a controlled knock and found a willing partner in Katie Perkins. Together the pair slowly but surely regained the upper-hand, showing plenty of patience along the way.
Try as they may, Pakistan was unable to make another breakthrough and succumbed to their second loss of the tournament.
Bates made it back-to-back half-centuries, while Perkins grabbed her first opportunity of the campaign with a mature 25 not out from 43 balls.
Sana Mir caused the most problems with the ball for the White Ferns, with the spinner claiming figures of two for 26 from seven overs.
Earlier, Pakistan had been put on the back-foot early after being reduced to 23 for four.
While Asmavia Iqbal (21) and Bismah Maroof (20) produced some resistance in the middle-order, a valuable partnership was not forth-coming for Pakistan and they were eventually dismissed after 41.2 overs.
Candy, having missed the first game, seemingly adapted to the Indian conditions with ease and was unplayable for much of her ten overs.
Her first international five wicket-bag highlighted an impressive all-round effort with the ball from the White Ferns. Nicola Browne chimed in with a couple of wickets, while Kate Broadmore conceded just 15 runs off her full compliment.
It’s the right time for the White Ferns to be hitting form, with their next match against a strong Australian side. With the teams taking their points through to the super-six stage, both sides will be well aware that every victory counts.
The Trans-Tasman rivals square off on Tuesday.