Bangladesh celebrate a wicket. © ICC
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Bangladesh Emerging held their nerve in a tricky run chase to beat South Africa Emerging by four wickets in the second one-day match at Groenkloof Oval in Pretoria on Thursday (July 25). An unbeaten 55-run stand between Nigar Sultana, the captain, Shobhana Mostary guided the visitors over the line to level the three-match series 1-1.

Chasing 239 Bangladesh Emerging got off to the worst possible start when Sharmin Sultana was dismissed by Tumi Sekhukhune for a duck off the fourth ball of the innings.  Murshida Khatun, her fellow opener, stabilised the innings with two vital partnerships. The first was a 40-run stand with Nuzhat Tasnia (8) for the second wicket, and the second, a slightly quicker 58-run association with Shaila Sharmin. Just when Bangladesh seemed to have set a platform from which to launch, Murshida was dismissed for 48, short of a well deserved half-century. 

Shaila Sharmin and Ritu Moni kept the scoreboard ticking— finding the boundary regularly, while also rotating the strike. A smart piece of work from Anne Bosch in the field, led to the run out Sharmin  for 31. At that stage Bangladesh Emerging were limping toward the target— 131 for 4 in 34.5 overs, requiring a further 108 runs in 90 deliveries. The odds were stacked against them.

Promoted after a good show with the bat in the first match, Fahima Khatun got to work straight away. Her 23-ball 20 set the tone for the remaining 15 overs, as Bangladesh Emerging began to step on the accelerator. Her partnership with Moni, however, was cut short when the latter was run out for 42 by Tamzin Brits. A little less than two overs later, Fahima was run out with Bangladesh Emerging still needing 54 runs in 44 balls.

It was at this juncture that Mostary’s 18-ball cameo swung the match in the visitors’ favour. The allrounder smashed four boundaries and a six on her way to an unbeaten 29. She punished the hosts’ bowlers at the back end of the innings and inspired Nigar (29 not out) to also lift her game. At the end, the pair took Bangladesh to a four-wicket win with eight deliveries to spare.

Sekhukhune, Bosh and Nadine de Klerk took a wicket each for South Africa Emerging.

Earlier in the day South Africa Emerging failed to capitalise on an outstanding opening partnership between Robyn Searle and Brits. The openers shared a massive 155-run stand for the first wicket that was broken only in the 31st over by Khadija Tul Kubra. Searle was the aggressor in the partnership, while Brits was happy to play second fiddle.

With the run-rate hovering around five an over, and still ten wickets in hand, the hosts decided to up the ante. The dismissal of Brits for 45 was soon followed by Searle. The right-hander was adjudged lbw to Moni for a 111-ball 96, four runs short of what would have been a wonderful hundred.

Soon enough, from 155 for no loss, South Africa had crashed to 186 for 5 in 39.4 overs. De Klerk who had scored a rapid half-century in the previous match was stumped off Tul Kubra.

As the innings progressed, South Africa continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. Trisha Chetty (56) attempted to hold the lower order together with a valiant half century from no.3, but none of the remaining batters managed to more than seven runs as the hosts were eventually dismissed for 238 in 48.4 overs.

The top three South African batters had scored 196 runs, while the remaining eight managed 25 between them.

For Bangladesh, Tul Kubra, the off spinner, was the star with the ball, finishing with figures of 4 for 42. Moni continued her fabulous form with the ball, picking up two wickets, while Nahida Akter, the left-arm spinner, was the other wicket-taker.

Brief Scores: South Africa Emerging Players 238 in 48.4 overs (Robyn Searle 96, Trisha Chetty 56, Tamzin Brits 45; Khadija Tul Kubra 4-42, Ritu Moni 2-51) lost to Bangladesh Emerging Players 240/6 in 48.4 overs (Murshida Khan 48, Ritu Moni 42, Shaila Sharmin 31) by four wickets.