The Bangladesh national women’s cricket team came agonisingly close before falling short again as their Indian counterparts registered a five-wicket win to go 1-0 up in the three-match
ODI series in Ahmedabad on Monday.
The Bangladeshi eves rode on the back of a fine knock from skipper Salma Khatun to post 194-9 in their allotted 50 overs before their South Asian neighbours chased down the target with four balls to spare, making 196-5.
It was the third time in four outings on the tour that Bangladesh had won the toss and although their score was not imposing after taking the first strike, it was a challenging total mainly due to Salma’s unbeaten 75 from 82 balls.
Salma’s innings was decorated with 11 boundaries and the captain was ably supported by Rumana Ahmed (38 from 63 balls) and Lata Mondal (39 off 72 balls).
This was Salma’s maiden fifty in a one-day international and also her highest score in the limited-over format after playing nine matches, her previous best being 12.
The 22-year-old skipper, who hails from Khulna, also recorded the highest score by a Bangladeshi woman cricketer, eclipsing the previous highest of 55 by Farzana Haque against South Africa in Dhaka a year ago.
Ekta Bisht (3-27) and Shubhlakshmi Sharma (2-28) shared five wickets between them to halt Bangladesh’s innings from progressing smoothly.
In reply, the Indian girls started off in the worst possible manner as their reliable opener Poonam Raut was dismissed after being adjudged leg before wicket without troubling the scorers.
Bangladesh were still in the contest after Thirush Kamini (23 off 52 balls) and Mona Meshram (22 from 52 balls) departed to leave India wobbling at 64-3 in the 23rd over.
However, an 83-run stand for the fourth wicket between Harmanpreet Kaur and Anagha Deshpande (47 off 50 balls) put India on the verge of victory.
Kaur remained unbeaten at the end on 63 runs from 100 balls to see the chase through successfully.
Jahanara Alam was the pick of the Bangladeshi bowlers taking 2-31 while Salma took 1-30.
It was a day of personal feats for Salma as her solitary wicket also took her past Rumana as the highest wicket-taker of the country in the ODIs. Salma has 11 wickets to Rumana’s 10 so far.
The second one-day international will take place at the same venue on Wednesday.
-With New Age input