Saturday, 3 June, 2023

Joty leads Tigresses to memorable victory

Joty leads Tigresses to memorable victory

An inspiring unbeaten fifty by skipper Nigar Sultana Joty helped Bangladesh national women’s team register a sensational six-wicket win over their Sri Lankan counterparts in the opening match of the three-match WT20I series at the SSC Ground in Colombo on Tuesday.

Joty struck an unbeaten 75 off 51 balls – her fifth fifty in this format – with seven fours and two sixes while she was well supported by Ritu Moni, who made 33 off 23 balls, as the Tigresses reached 146-4 in 19.5 overs to complete their first win over their neighbouring side in nine years.

The last time Bangladesh won a WT20I against Sri Lanka was back in 2014 in the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in Sylhet but since then, they were lost nine consecutive matches against Sri Lanka.

Earlier, Sri Lanka, which won the toss and elected to bat first, posted 145-6 in their stipulated 20 overs after Harshitha Samarawickrama made the highest 45 runs while their skipper Chamari Athapaththu scored 38 runs.

Chasing a decent total, Bangladesh lost both their openers - Shamima Sultana (five) and debutant Rubya Haider (nine) early in their innings but a 51-run stand between Joty and Sobhana Mostary  (17) brought the visitors back in the contest.

Joty then shared another crucial stand of 71 runs with Ritu for the fourth wicket to level the scoreboard before the latter was run out when Bangladesh required only one run to win the contest.

The Bangladeshi skipper then hit the winning single in the penultimate delivery to complete the victory for her side and thus the Tigresses went 1-0 up in the three-match series.           

“It’s a great feeling to win the first match of the series and also to contribute to the victory. I’m very confident with the team and hopefully, we will be able to showcase a similar performance in the next match,” said Joty, who won the player-of-the-match award.

Earlier, Fariha Trisna gave Bangladesh the first breakthrough in the contest when she removed Vishmi Gunaratne (11) in the third over but Athapaththu and Samarawickrama steadied the ship for the hosts by providing important contributions with the bat.

However, after the dismissal of both batters, Sri Lanka failed to accelerate their innings as despite Nilakshi de Silva’s making an unbeaten 29 off 28 balls, the hosts had to be content with a score of below 150.

Leg-spinner Fahima Khatun finished with 2-20 while off-spinner Sultana Khatun, who was one of the two debutants for Bangladesh in the contest, finished with 1-30 in her allotted four overs.

Bangladesh will face the hosts in the second match of the series at the same venue on Thursday.