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Tigresses ecstatic after victory

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 22 November, 2021 12:00 AM
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Tigresses ecstatic after victory
Players of Bangladesh national women’s team celebrate after taking a wicket against Pakistan during their ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier Group B match in Harare, Zimbabwe on Sunday. — ZC PHOTO

Bangladesh all-rounder Rumana Ahmed is over the moon after she guided the national team to a three-wicket win over their Pakistani counterparts during the opening game of the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Harare, Zimbabwe on Sunday.

 The all-rounder struck a match-winning knock of 50 off 44 balls that helped Bangladesh chase their target of 202-7 with two balls to spare in a thrilling way and it also increased their chances to book their place in the main event for the first time in their cricketing history.

 Earlier, Rumana claimed 1-40 in her eight overs and played her part in restricting Pakistan to a gettable 201-7 after Bangladesh sent them to bat first.  

 “I’m very happy that we could win such an important match (against Pakistan).  We were very excited regarding this game and we hope to keep the momentum in our next game,” said player-of-the-match Rumana in the post-match presentation.

 “Definitely, I believed that I can carry my team right from the start,” she added.

Bangladesh, who had so far played four T20 World Cup, are yet to qualify for the 50-over World Cup main event despite their several attempts in the qualifier.

 Although the corona break denied them taking World Cup Qualifier preparation for months, it hardly took their focus away from their dream of playing in the 50-over World Cup for the first time.

 A 3-0 clean sweep result in favour of Bangladesh against Zimbabwe in the three-match ODI series prior to the qualifier event definitely enhanced their confidence and despite being on the back foot in the game, they didn’t lose the game before it finally finished.

 In a mediocre run-chase, Bangladesh lost the track by losing three wickets in four deliveries to get reduced to 160-7 in 45.3 overs but Rumana along with Salma Khatun (18 not out) held their nerves and put up an unbeaten stand of 42 off just 25 balls for the eighth wicket to ensure Bangladesh’s victory.

 Rumana struck Pakistani pacer Omaima Sohail for three successive boundaries after Salma struck the same bowler for a boundary in the first ball of the 48th over (18 runs in the over) when Bangladesh needed 35 runs off the last three overs.

 The duo then struck 12 runs in the 49th over off pacer Diana Baig while they scored the remaining five runs within the first four balls of the final over to give Bangladesh a thrilling win.

 Skipper Nigar Sultana Joty, who replaced Rumana as the ODI captain just before the tournament, said that the win against Pakistan would motivate them to achieve bigger successes from the tournament.

 “It’s always important to start with a win and so it’s definitely a good sign for us,” said Joty.

 “Winning habit is important. We are practising here for two weeks and we tried very hard back in the country to do well here.

“I think we need to work on pressurizing our opponent because we picked quite a few wickets but later they had a good partnership,” she added.

 Bangladesh will now face USA, Thailand and hosts Zimbabwe on November 23, 25 and 29 respectively in their remaining Group B matches.

 The top three teams from each of the two groups will play in the Super Six stage while the top three teams after the end of the Super Six stage will qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 scheduled to be held in New Zealand from March 4 to April 3 next year.