New Zealand women 240 for 9 (Devine 103, Bates 36, Mir 3-33) beat Pakistan women 232 (Javeria 55, Nahida 51) by eight runs
Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details
With 24 runs to win off 28 balls, Pakistan suffered a dramatic lower-order collapse, losing their last five wickets for just 15 runs to fold for 232, falling short of New Zealand's total of 240 by eight runs in a thrilling opening ODI in Sharjah. Spinners Leigh Kasperek and Amelia Kerr took three of those five wickets, and New Zealand were aided by two run-outs.
Opening only for the second time in ODIs, Sophie Devine had set New Zealand up with her second hundred in the format, 103 off 119 balls, that featured 10 fours. She added a 65-run opening stand with captain Suzie Bates (36 off 39 balls), and 56 with No. 3 Amy Satterthwaite (20 off 34 balls). Pakistan's spinners, led by Sana Mir, kept chipping away through the middle overs, though, and reduced New Zealand to 181 for 5 in the 38th over.
"That's (opening the batting) something we discussed prior to coming over here in Sharjah," Devine said after the match. "It's not too much technically different, it's more the mindset shift for me and the biggest thing is probably batting with Suzie Bates. We had a laugh about it the other day that we've played together for 10 years but probably haven't batted more than 10 times together."
No. 5 Maddy Green (22) and No. 7 Amelia Kerr (30) struck cameos to lift New Zealand to 240 after Devine was dismissed in the 45th over. Offspinners Mir and Javeria Khan combined for five wickets, while left-arm spinner Sadia Yousuf finished with 2 for 40.
In reply, Pakistan lost Ayesha Zafar for a 12-ball duck, but Nahida Khan (51) and Javeria (55) struck steady fifties to put Pakistan on course. After both batsmen fell by the 28th over, Bismah Maroof (41) and Sidra Ameen (33) put together a 46-run partnership to take Pakistan within 66 runs of the target with more than 13 overs remaining. Pace bowler Holly Huddleston, legspinner Kerr and offspinner Kasperek all chipped in with two wickets to combine with the fielding efforts to script a comeback win.
"We know Amelia is a pretty cool customer," Devine said. "She wanted the ball and that's what you want in those situations - players stepping up in pressure situations and Lea and Amelia took the ball and took charge.
"We put huge amounts of pressure and to hold our nerves, the bowlers did a great job in those last 10 overs and the fielders backed it up to create a few chances with the run-outs."