A 165-run opening partnership has steered the White Ferns to a 131-run win over Pakistan in their ODI series opener in Queenstown.
Suzie Bates and Bernadine Bezuidenhout might have had Pakistan rethinking their decision to send the Kiwis in to bat, as the pair worked the Pakistan attack around the park to get the innings off to an ideal start.
The pair occupied the crease for more than half of the New Zealand innings before Bezuidenhout was run out on 86 at the end of the 26th over, with Bates dismissed in the 39th over for 108. Amelia Kerr and Sophie Devine continued from where the opening duo left off, with Kerr scoring 83 from 69 deliveries, and Devine with an impressive 70 from 36 to post a formidable total of 365-4 at the end of their 50 overs.
In response, the Pakistan openers got their run chase off to a great start, putting 110 on the board before Devine made her mark with ball in hand to dismiss Muneeba Ali for 44.
Sidra Ameen continued to work away but was quickly running out of partners as she saw a further four teammates come and go before falling to a run out on 105. At that point Pakistan were 212-6 inside the final 10 overs, and the White Ferns went on to claim an impressive victory. The sides will meet again at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Friday.
It’s the first ODI series the two sides have played since 2017 and New Zealand came in with a 13-1 record against Pakistan going back to their first meeting in 1997.
Their last clash was at the 2022 World Cup when the White Ferns won by 71 runs with Suzie Bates scoring 126 before Hannah Rowe took 5-55 with the ball.