Watch: In the first Twenty20 International against Australia, at the North Sydney Oval, 18-year-old Ayesha Naseem impressed all with her six-hitting abilities.
Australia Women went through 2022 without just one outright defeat in international cricket, and started 2023 with a 3-0 sweep in the ODIs against Pakistan at home. After their whitewash in that series, Pakistan look set to succumb to the same scoreline in the T20Is after Megan Schutt (5-15) bowled out Pakistan for 118 in the first match of three. Australia chased down the target inside 14 overs.
Amidst the gloom of defeats, there was a ray of hope for Pakistan ahead of the T20 World Cup. Pakistan were 57-5 in the 11th over when Ayesha walked out to join Omaima Sohail. She played out the last two balls of Alana King’s over.
When Sohail gave her the strike in the next over, she waited for two more balls before lofting Tahlia McGrath over long-on for six. What made the shot stand out was the power she generated without stepping out of her crease.
“This is why everyone is so excited about her,” exclaimed Isa Guha on air.
Watch Ayesha Naseem’s first six here:
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 24, 2023
Ayesha did not stop there. When Darcie Brown threw a bouncer down to her, Ayesha pulled hard. The bat made a spectacular noise as the ball disappeared over the mid-wicket fence. An excited Grace Harris, microphone in hand, made little attempt to hide her emotions.
She then calmly hit the next ball through the line past mid-off for four. Upon getting the strike against King, Ayesha slog-swept violently for her third six of the innings. Two balls later she was bowled, trying to attempt an encore, for a 20-ball 24.
In the history of Pakistan cricket, only Iram Javed (4) has more sixes in a women’s T20I, though Nida Dar and Aliya Riaz have also hit three each. None of them batted as low. Ayesha also became the first to hit three sixes from No.7 or lower against Australia Women.
Watch Ayesha Naseem’s second six here:
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) January 24, 2023