Nida Dar and Bismah Maroof set their sights on success following victorious T20I series in New Zealand

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No Asian women’s team had ever won a T20I match in New Zealand before, with Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka losing all the games they played there. But Nida Dar’s side changed that in Dunedin, winning the first T20I on Sunday and going one better on Tuesday, winning the second T20I and sealing the series. Bismah Maroof, after the second win, remarked on the impact this win would have on the confidence of the team and “all the girls back home.” This is a morale booster for us and for all the girls back home, emphasized Maroof. Historically, Pakistan has struggled against traditionally stronger sides, however, the team seems to be turning a corner. In September, Pakistan beat South Africa 3-0 in a T20I series at home and won one of the three ODIs in the series that followed against them. “It’s been our wish for a long time that we perform this way against the big teams and beat the big teams,” stated Dar. The team is gelling together nicely, she said. “It’d be nice to get a whitewash – we got a whitewash against South Africa, so we want to do it against the White Ferns,” added Dar. The Pakistani bowlers were especially effective in setting the stage for both wins, with 22-year-old medium pacer Fatima Sana leading the way each time. Dar emphasized the need for a women’s T20 league in Pakistan, citing the benefit of learning from foreign players. The third WT20I will be played in Queenstown on December 9.

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