Nahida Akter in action © ICC

Bangladesh defeated Papua New Guinea (PNG) by seven runs via the Duckworth-Lewis Stern (DLS) method in the match that was played on Monday (September 2), the reserve day, after rain washed out the original fixture on Saturday (August 31) at the Forfashire Cricket Club in Dundee.

The defending champions have thus confirmed their spot in the semi-final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019.

In what had been reduced to a 17-over encounter, Bangladesh were sent in to bat and their top order struggled to  adapt to the damp conditions. Their innings was a tale of Fahima Khatun’s batting versus the others. PNG made regular inroads, reducing their opponents to 29 for 3 before the seventh over.

Sanjida Islam, the opener, had painstakingly moved to 19 off 31 balls before she was the fourth wicket to fall with the score on 36. Soon Shaila Sharmin walked back to leave Bangladesh reeling at five for 46.

It was then that Fahima entered, and while she was out there, she saw three more wickets fall. Sibona Jimmy, the off-spinner was the wrecker-in-chief. With her enticing flight and deceptive pace, she got rid of Jahanara Alam and captain Salma Khatun off successive deliveries.

The mini collapse prompted Fahima to take charge of the innings. She hit Ravina Oa for consecutive boundaries, after which the heavens opened up, ending Bangladesh’s innings prematurely. By then the right-hander had raced to an unbeaten 32 off 18, with five fours.

The rain delay meant PNG came out needing 59 runs off eight overs to earn another upset win. Jimmy and Naoani Vare began smoothly, hitting a four each off the first two overs. However, the introduction of left-arm spinner Nahida Akter caused some unease.

Jimmy was the first to fall, charging down the track only to miss the ball completely. An over later, Ritu Moni, the seamer, got Naoani Vare as well as Konio Oala in the space of two balls.

However, Salma went for 14 in the penultimate over of the run-chase, with both Brenda Tau and Tanya Ruma hitting one four apiece in it. That brought PNG within 11 runs of a win.

But Akter was entrusted with the final over and she gave away just four runs and picked up two wickets. Fittingly, she was the Player of the Match for her figures of 2-0-10-3.

 

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 103/8 in 16.3 overs (Fahima Khatun 32*; Sibona Jimmy 3-10) beat Papua New Guinea 52/5 in 8 overs (Nahida Akter 3-10) by seven runs. (DLS method). PoM: Nahida Akter.