Bangladesh suffered an 18-run defeat at the hands of their Indian counterparts in their ICC T20 World Cup opener at the W.A.C.A. Ground in Perth today.
Coming in to chase a challenging 142 for six posted by India, the Tigresses never looked to be in control of the game. Bangladesh lost Shamima Sultana in the second over with just five runs on the board. Murshida Khatun played some good looking shots but the left-hander too fell in the eighth over after a 26-ball 30 that featured four boundaries. Nigar Sultana contributed with a 26-ball 35 in the middle but the Salma Khatun-led side lacked the firepower to overcome such a challenging total. For India, legspinner Poonam Yadav remained the most impressive with the ball, returning figures of three for 18.
Earlier, India posted a challenging 142 for six after being asked to bat first.
India got off to a flying start, thanks to a quick-fire 17-ball 39 from Shefali Verma that helped India score 54 runs for the loss of just two wickets in the first powerplay. After Shefali's dismissal in the sixth over, Jemimah Rodrigues contributed with a 37-ball 34 in the middle. For the Tigresses, both Salma Khatun and Panna Ghosh returned figures of two for 25.
Bangladesh have won the toss and elected to field against India in their first match of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in Perth today.
This is Bangladesh's first match while India, after having beaten defending champions Australia in the tournament opener, will be playing their second match. The group also features New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The Lankans had, earlier in the day, ran Australia close but eventually lost after having lost their first match against the New Zealanders.
The other group features England, West Indies, South Africa, Pakistan and Thailand. Two teams from each group will move into the semifinals.
Bangladesh: Murshida Khatun, Shamima Sultana, Sanjida Islam, Nigar Sultana Joty, Fargana Hoque, Rumana Ahmed, Salma Khatun, Fahima Khatun, Jahanara Alam, Panna Ghosh, Nahida Akter
India: Shafali Verma, Taniya Bhatia, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Veda Krishnamurthy, Shika Pandey, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad
The India v Bangladesh match is expected to be a David v Goliath affair, with India on a steep upward curve while Bangladesh stagnating at the lower level of top-tier countries.
India have never won a global title in women's cricket so far, but this could be their year after all. They ran Australia very close in the final of the three-nation tournament in Australia, after having got the better of England. However, Harmanpreet Kaur's team eventually had their success against the Aussies, beating the four-time champions in the first match of the World Cup.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, beat Pakistan in a warm-up match, but they haven't had too many matches to play in this format. They would like to take inspiration from their two wins against India in the Asia Cup in 2018, but India would argue that they were in all sorts of disarray during that period, infighting within the team. Since then the Indian team has gone through a whole lot of changes, both in personnel and support staff, and the changes have been vindicated as India's recent success has set them up as one of the top-four teams in world cricket.
Bangladesh have a decent bowling attack and a fielding unit that has come leaps and bounds over the past two years, but it is their batting that has been their perennial foe. In the build-up to the touranament, Salma Khatun and Co. said that they are taking inspiration from the recent success of the under-19 side, who beat India in the thrilling final. If the Tigeresses can emulate that it will be a tremendous achievement, but lets hope that scenes that followed that victory in Potchefstroom earlier this month, are not repeated in Perth.