White Ferns on verge of semi-final berth

White Ferns on verge of semi-final berth

White Ferns 167-3 (Suzie Bates 94*, Sophie Devine 44) beat Pakistan 108-7 (Sana Mir 35*, Javeria Khan 35, Felicity Leydon-Davis 35) by 59 runs

The White Ferns are now three from three at the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, after cruising past Pakistan by 59 runs at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium. 

The win all but guarantees the White Ferns a place in the semi-finals and they’re now favourites to finish the group as the top seed. 

Captain Suzie Bates was once again the catalyst for the victory, making an unbeaten 94 in the first innings to lift the White Ferns to 167 for three. Pakistan in response was unable to keep up with the required-run-rate, restricted to 108 for seven at the end of 20 overs. 

Sophie Devine played her first match of the tournament and was promoted to open the batting with Bates. Together they punished the Pakistan bowlers, putting on 83 for the first wicket inside just 10.2 overs. 

That provided the perfect platform to launch from and Bates gleefully obliged. While Devine was dismissed for 44 from 33 balls, Bates ramped up the intensity, slamming nine fours and two sixes to get within six of a rare Twenty20 century. 

It was an imposing total that Bates had set up and one she would help defend as well. 

The Pakistan response was crippled by the run-out of both openers, with the ever energetic Sara McGlashan finding the key batsmen of Javeria Khan (35) short of her ground in the 11th over. 

From there the White Ferns struck at regular intervals, though they weren’t able to remove Sana Mir, who finished unbeaten on 35. Unfortunately for Mir, she couldn’t find a partner to go with her and Pakistan fell well short. 

Felicity Leydon-Davis, also playing her first match of the tournament, was the best of the White Ferns bowlers and finished with figures of two for 15 from four overs. 

Bates backed up her effort with the bat with one for 18 with the ball, leading to her second straight Player of the Match award. 

While likely that they’ll go through no matter what the result, the White Ferns play South Africa in their final pool match on Wednesday morning (NZ time).

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