Friday, March 22, 2019

Bangladesh break India stranglehold to lift maiden Women’s T20 Asia Cup

  • Sports Correspondent,
    Published: 2018-06-10 15:20:58 BdST


Bangladesh have stunned India by three wickets to win the ACC Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup in a fairytale finish in a last-ball thriller in Malaysia.

By doing so, they have broken India's stranglehold on the Asia Cup as they had won each of the previous six tournaments.

The women earned their place in the cricketing folklore by bringing Bangladesh’s first international trophy 21 years after the men dramatically won the ICC Trophy in Malaysia.  

Needing two off the final ball, Jahanara Alam swung towards midwicket with captain Salma Khatun at the other end. She stormed back for a second with a desperate dive to make history.

Bangladesh won the toss at the Kinara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday and sent the Indians in to bat first.

India got off to a poor start Smriti Mandhana getting run out for 7. Bangladesh spinners were soon on top and the Indians were reeling at 32 for four. Middle-order bat Anuja Patil was dismissed for obstructing the field.

India would have been bowled out for much less a total as they were tottering at 74 for 7 in 15 overs. But captain Harmanpreet Kaur led her side valiantly with both the bat and ball to lift them to a fighting total with a brilliant 42-ball 56.

Jhulan Goswami helped her rebuild the innings by sharing a 33-run stand but the spirited Bangladeshis restricted them to a below par 112 for 9.

Rumana and Khadija Tul Kubra were the peak of the bowlers, taking 2-22 and 2-23, respectively.

The chase got off to a steady start and they had breezed to 33 without loss in the powerplay. But leg-spinner Poonam Yadav struck in successive deliveries in her first over to put the brakes on scoreboard.

She removed Shamima Sultana and Ayasha Rahman, who had put on 35, in the 7th over on her way to a sensational figure of 4 for 9.

The scoring slowed down and Bangladesh managed to add only 33 between the sixth and the 14th over.

With the pressure mounting, Nigar Sultana struck three consecutive boundaries off Goswami in the 15th over to bring the chase back on course and become the top-scorer of her team with 27.

The rest of the batting order soldiered on while Kaur who bowled the 18th and 20th took 2 for 19.

Rumana was declared the Player of the Match for picking up two wickets and scoring 23 crucial runs.

Last Wednesday, Salma and Co handed India their first-ever defeat in Asia Cup history. 

Rumana’s stellar show fired them to their first victory over the Indians by seven wickets.

The two teams have squared up against each other 11 T20s and four One-Day Internationals.

Bangladesh were back to winning ways against last edition’s runners-up Pakistan last Monday with a seven-wicket victory after suffering a 64-run defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the opening game.