Fahima Khatun's heist sees Bangladesh make final; S Meghana's fifty keeps India A winless

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Fahima Khatun's heist sees Bangladesh make final; S Meghana's fifty keeps India A winless

Fahima Khatun in action for Bangladesh. © Getty Images

A school of thought says that chasing scores is easier because the required run rate is known in advance. The other school of thought says that it’s not so because most of pacing the chase is about judgement. Probably we won’t know soon which school of thoughts Fahima Khatun belongs to, but thanks to her innings, Bangladesh beat Thailand by two wickets to make it to the final of the Women’s Quadrangular T20 series.

Chasing a low 121, Bangladesh did get a decent start. Shamima Sultana was the backbone of the top order making 38 runs in 37 balls. The top three wickets for them added 91 but ended up taking a tad over 16 overs.

When Fahima walked in, Bangladesh were reeling at four for 92 and needed 29 runs in 20 balls. Seemingly, the going wasn’t easy as evident from the knocks of Fargana Hoque (nine off 20), Sanjida Islam (21 off 23) and Nigar Sultana (15 off 19). But Fahima was unfazed by that.

She quickly got into the act and hit four fours – including one off the final ball of the match – in an innings of 28 off just 13 balls. Tough track? She banished the thought as fiercely as her strike rate of 215.38 shows.

For Thailand, Ratanaporn Padunglerd picked up three wickets giving away just 14 runs, while Nattaya Boochatham picked up a couple.

Earlier, Nattakan Chantham hit her second successive half century in the series as Thailand crawled to 120 for three. She added 65 with Nannapat Koncharoenkai (28) for the second wicket. But the pace of the entire Thailand innings stands to question, as they couldn’t capitalise despite having wickets in hand.

Chantham herself made a run-a-ball 60 before being run out in the final over of the innings. Chanida Suthhiruang, coming in at four, had an aggressive unbeaten cameo of 24 in just 17 balls to give her side a decent total. During her stay, Thailand scored 51 runs in the final 31 balls.

It was a day of batters scoring successive fifties, as after Chantham, Sabbineni Meghana scored yet another half-century to help India B beat India A in what was already an inconsequential clash, in the second match of the day.

India A had opted to bat first and, perhaps, would have regretted the call as they saw Priya Punia (five), Jincy George (five) and Nikita Chauhan (three) fall inside five overs, leaving the side reeling at three for 23. Madhuri Meheta then followed suit for 11 as, at the halfway stage in the innings, they were four for 37.

The 33-run partnership between Bharati Fulmali (26) and Ravi Kalpana (24*) was the highest in the innings as India A were kept to seven for 97. Simran Dil Bahadur and Tanuja Kanwer picked up two wickets each for India B.

Once Meghana and Yastika Bhatia (19) added fifty runs for the first wicket, the game was pretty much done. It was then a matter of when they overhaul the 98-run target in front of them. Meghana carried on her form from the innings against Bangladesh on Saturday (Jan 18). She finished unbeaten on 50 off 57 balls, taking her time and hitting five fours in the process.

India B will now take on Bangladesh in the final on Wednesday (January 22), while India A and Thailand vie for the third spot on the same day.

Brief Scores:

Thailand 120/3 in 20 overs (Nattakan Chantham 60, Nannapat Koncharoenkai 28, Chanida Sutthiruang 24*; Jahanara Alam 1/31) lost to Bangladesh 124/8 in 20 overs (Shamima Sultana 38, Fahima Khatun 28*; Ratanaporn Padunglerd 3/14, Nattaya Boochatham 2/19) by two wickets.

India A 97/7 in 20 overs (Bharati Fulmali 26, Ravi Kalpana 24; Simran Dil Bahadur 2/15, Tanuja Kanwer 2/16) lost to India B 101/3 in 18 overs (Sabbineni Meghana 50*; Nikita Chauhan 1/8, Renuka Singh 1/16, Sushree Dibyadarshini 1/23) by seven wickets.