Stunning win for BD women
The Bangladesh women's cricket team pulled off a nerve-wracking two-wicket victory over the visiting South Africa women's cricket team in the low-scoring first one-day international of the three-match series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Ritu Moni drove pacer Ayabonga Khaka to the fence to confirm their first major victory against a formidable side and brought relief to the home tent as Bangladesh battled to 78 for eight in 37.3 overs in reply to South Africa's paltry 75 all out.
But it was player of the match Lata Mondol who shaped the win with a magnificent 54-ball 31 that contained four boundaries after the two spinners Khadijatul Kobra and Rumana Ahmed laid the platform by taking three wickets each.
Wickets fell like ninepins in the match as not only the South Africans but the Bangladeshi batters also struggled to score in pursuit of a small total. Like their opponents Bangladesh also made a disastrous start but Lata was exceptional as she looked comfortable against the South African pace attack. After Lata's dismissal with the scoreboard reading 56 for five, Bangladesh lost two quick wickets to test the nerves of the small but enthusiastic crowd but in the end Ritu kept her nerve to ensure a 1-0 lead. Ritu was unbeaten on 12 off 18 balls and only the second batter to reach double figures after Lata.
Sunette Loubser was the most successful bowler taking three wickets for 32 runs in 10 overs.
Earlier, the spinners did the job for Bangladesh as Bangladesh skipper Salma Khatun predicted before the match, even though the pitch helped the seam bowlers. The South Africans were found wanting against the spinners and it was captain Salma who initiated the rot in the South African innings removing Trisha Chetty for duck, after which the tourists slipped to 5 for three. Captain Mignon du Preez, along with Marizanne Kapp tried to repair the early damage in a 37-run fourth-wicket stand but their effort was not good enough to put up a fighting total on the board, mainly because of the tight bowling from off-spinner Kobra and leg-spinner Rumana.
Du Preez top-scored with 24 while Kapp added 11 and Sune Luus was the other batter who managed double figures with an unbeaten 50-ball 15.
The second match takes place today at the same venue.
SCORES IN BRIEF
SOUTH AFRICA WOMEN'S TEAM: 75 all out in 34.4 overs (du Preez 24, Kapp 11, Luus 15 not out, extras 7; Jahanara 1-20, Salma 1-17, Kobra 3-8, Tazia 1-18, Rumana 3-10)
BANGLADESH WOMEN'S TEAM: 78-8 in 37.3 overs (Lata 31, Ritu 12 not out, extras 17; Shabnim 2-8, Kapp 2-13, Sunette 3-32)
RESULT: Bangladesh women's team won by two wickets.
PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Lata Mondol (Bangladesh)