An unbeaten 37-ball 32 from Sanjida Islam helped Bangladesh register a dominant four-wicket victory over their Irish counterparts in an ICC Women’s T20 World Cup qualifier match in Dundee, Scotland yesterday.
With this win, the Tigresses have already qualified for the showpiece event of women’s cricket for the second time in a row.
Having emerged unbeaten from the group stages, Bangladesh continued their winning run in the qualifying tournament by chasing down Ireland’s sub-par total of 85 all out in 20 overs with nine balls to spare. Opener Murshida Khatun scored a 15-ball 13 while Ritu Moni contributed with a 27-ball 15 in the middle. However, it was Sanjida’s match winning unbeaten knock, featuring three boundaries, which helped the Tigresses book a spot in the final.
Earlier, after being asked to bat, Bangladesh leg-spinner Fahima Khatun dealt heavy damage by picking up three wickets for 18 runs in four overs. The Tigresses displayed a disciplined bowling attack on the day as all the other bowlers -- Jahanara Alam, Nahida Akter, skipper Salma Khatun and Ritu Moni -- got a wicket each from their allotted four overs.
Nahida spelled the beginning of the end for Ireland by removing opener Gaby Lewis on a run-a-ball five in the second over of the innings. All-rounder Jahanara soon joined the party, rattling Mary Waldron’s stumps in the third over and by the time skipper Salma sent Kim Garth packing in the sixth over, Ireland were left reeling on three for 14. However, Ireland captain Laura Delany’s 39-ball 25 and Eimear Richardson’s 17-ball 25 in the middle helped the side avert utter humiliation.
Bangladesh, who won the qualifiers for the 2018 T20 World Cup, will now face Thailand -- who beat Papua New Guinea by eight wickets in yesterday’s other semifinal -- in the final on September 7. The top two teams from the competition will go through to the T20 World Cup, which is to be held in Australia late next year.