Seamer Jahanara Alam emerged as the first Bangladeshi woman to register an international five-for while No 4 batter Nigar Sultana added a flashy 46 as the Tigresses posted a last-ball victory against Ireland Thursday in Dublin. Reigning Asia Cup champion Bangladesh in the process began their tour of Ireland with a four-wicket win in the first of three T20Is.
Asked to bat first, Ireland were restricted to 134 runs for the loss of eight wickets in their stipulated 20 overs, Jahanara leading from the front with a brilliant five-for. In the process, Jahanara surpassed the previous best T20I bowling figure of Salma Khatun, who had picked up four wickets conceding just six runs during a 2012 Asia Cup tie against Sri Lanka.
Jahanara ended up with bowling figure of 5/28 in her quota of four overs. The right-arm pacer bagged two wickets in her first two overs while in her last spell, she notched two in an over and one in the last over of Ireland’s innings.
Middle-order batter Isobel Joyce top-scored for Ireland with 41.
Chasing the target, Bangladesh lost Shamima Sultana (four) early with just five runs on the board. The women in red and green however, soon recovered, producing regular partnerships with Nigar scoring the lion’s share of the runs.
Right-handed batter Nigar added a 38-ball 46, including half a dozen boundaries. With 116 runs on the board, Bangladesh lost Nigar in the 18th over and needed 19 off 14 balls.
In the 19th and penultimate over, the Tigresses scored 14 runs with lower-order batter Fahima Khatun hammering two fours. In the 20th and final over of the chase, the Tigresses required four, among which three came off the first four deliveries.
In the fifth ball, No 7 batter Sanjida Islam was caught short of the crease while attempting the winning run. Fahima was on strike in the final delivery. The ball struck Fahima’s inside edge and went wide of the fielder. Fahima ran hard and thus sealed victory, sparking wild celebrations in the Bangladesh dug-out. She remained unbeaten on 26 off 18 balls with three boundaries.
The two teams will lock horns with each other in the second and penultimate T20I Friday at the same venue. The series will serve as preparation for the World T20I Qualifiers, scheduled for next month. The Women’s World T20I will be held later this year in the West Indies.
Bangladesh women 135/6 (Nigar 46, Fahima 26*) beat Ireland women 134/8 (Joyce 41, Jahanara 5/28) by four wickets