1 Nov 2017

White Ferns edge Pakistan in one-day opener

7:32 am on 1 November 2017

The New Zealand women's cricket team have enjoyed a narrow eight run win over Pakistan in their opening one day match in Sharjah.

Sophie Devine, during the 1st ODI against India, 2015.

Sophie Devine made the most of her promotion up the batting order. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Batting first, the White Ferns made 240 for nine with opener Sophie Devine scoring her second one day century, making 103 off 109 balls.

Pakistans reply was always on track and they entered the final ten overs of the chase requiring 56 runs to win with six wickets still in hand.

However, the hosts appeared to get the speed wobbles, as New Zealand held their nerve to claim the final five wickets for just 15 runs and snuff out the run-chase with nine balls to go.

White Ferns spinners Leigh Kasperek and Amelia Kerr grabbed three wickets between them and New Zealand affected two run outs during Pakistan's dramatic collapse.

Earlier on another hot day in the UAE, New Zealand's new opening pairing of Suzie Bates and Devine posted a polished 50-run stand inside the opening ten overs.

When captain Bates departed for a fluent 36 off 39 balls, Devine took up the attack, posting a 60-ball half-century.

Devine continued to patiently build her innings and when a couple of quick wickets brought Amelia Kerr to the middle, the Tawa College teenager proved the perfect foil.

The Wellington pair put on 34 runs in short time as Devine pushed on to post her century in 114 balls, although she would perish soon after - leaving Kerr to take over.

Making the most of her slight elevation up the batting order, the 17-year-old right-hander compiled a busy run-a-ball 30 to help the White Ferns through to their final total.

Nahida and Javeria Khan showed superb skill in the early part of the chase and their 77 run stand had Bates team under pressure.

Captain Bismah Maroof looked to be leading her side to an historic victory with 15 overs to go, but she was dismissed by Kerr for 41 and all of a sudden the hosts innings began to teeter.

New Zealand continued to chip out wickets and once the last of the recognised batswomen were out, the tail collapsed with the target in sight.

The second ODI in the three game ICC Womens Championship series is at the same ground on Thursday.