Suzie Bates compiled her 12th ODI century and became the first New Zealand batter, and fourth overall, to reach 5,000 runs in the format as the hosts beat Pakistan by 71 runs to end an otherwise disappointing Women’s World Cup campaign on a positive note on Saturday. After Bates’ magnificent century guided New Zealand to 265 for eight, a maiden five-wicket haul from medium pacer Hannah Rowe helped New Zealand register a comfortable victory at the Hagley Oval. Bates hit 126 from just 135 deliveries in the White Ferns’ total and that proved too much for Pakistan as Rowe picked up 5/55 to effectively seal the result for New Zealand.
The victory is unlikely to help the Kiwis reach the semi-finals of the tournament though, with New Zealand now requiring both England and India to record large losses on Sunday to have any chance of sneaking in.
It means the tournament hosts will most likely finish in sixth place on the standings, while Pakistan will end eighth with one victory from their seven matches in the tournament.
New Zealand will be left to wonder what could have been, especially after the way Bates played as she compiled her fourth World Cup hundred.
The New Zealand veteran hit 14 boundaries during her 135-ball innings as she brought up her 5000th ODI run for her country while pacing New Zealand’s healthy total on what was an excellent batting wicket.
Many of Bates’ fellow batters got starts, but Katey Martin (30 not out), Brooke Holliday (29), Amelia Kerr (24) and Maddy Green (23) weren’t able to match the exploits of their more experienced teammate.
Nida Dar (3/39) was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers, which included two wickets in three deliveries early in her spell that disrupted New Zealand’s highly-rated top-order.
Dar was also the mainstay of Pakistan’s run chase, with her entertaining knock of 50 keeping her side in with a glimmer of hope of reaching the victory target.
While Dar and skipper Bismah Maroof (38) were together at the crease there was an outside chance, but New Zealand managed to pick up wickets at crucial stages to deflate Pakistan prospects.
While it was spinner Frances Mackay (2/29) that did the damage at the top of the Pakistan run chase, it was Rowe that sealed the contest by running through their middle order in style.
Rowe had Maroof caught behind to end an 82-run stand with Dar and then dismissed Aliya Riaz for one and got the key wicket of Dar to send Pakistan tumbling from 155/3 to 158/6.
That decisive spell proved enough as Pakistan’s last wickets fell tamely to leave New Zealand enough time to cruise home.
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