Bangladesh’s Tailenders Save The Series

Bangladesh’s last batswomen held their nerve to win a thrilling victory on the penultimate ball as they won the second and final ODI against Pakistan with a wicket.

Pakistan had already won the T20I series and won the prelude to the ODI. It looked like it would end the home game against Bangladesh undefeated. However, the guests had other plans than to lose sight of the victory in the final.

In the hunt for 211, Bangladesh lost two early goals in quick succession. Their opening fixture, Sharmin Sultana, who was fixated from the beginning, was the first to be caught by Aliya Riaz 27 minutes from Diana Baig, while Nigar Sultana, number 3, fell for nothing in the next game.

Bangladesh was reduced to 29/2 in eight overs, but opener Murshida Khatun and Fargana Hoque made sure there were no further hiccups. Together, the duo shared a crucial 82-run stand as they lifted their side to 111/2 before losing the opener to 44.

Fargana, however, remained undeterred and added 55 runs with skipper Rumana Ahmed. The problems for the visitors began when they lost these two fights at the later stage of the innings, which shifted the balance in favor of Pakistan. Rumana fell after scoring 31 of 43 points in the 39th round, while Fargana was released after eight balls after scoring the most goals with a 97-ball 67.

Sanjida Islam was the only other batsman to score double-digit, but Pakistan routinely beat deaths. At one stage, Bangladesh needed only 16 of the last four overs with four wickets in hand, but Pakistan struggled to reduce them to 208/9 at the 49-over mark.

The hosts were only one wicket away from victory, while Bangladesh needed four runs. The game could have gone both ways, but it was Bangladesh’s day when Jahanara Alam and Nahida Akter helped their team win a nervous victory on the penultimate ball.

Previously, Pakistan had made a solid start as openers Nahida Khan and Javeria Khan stitched a half-century stand within the top 10 overs. In the next game, Spinner Rumana made their first breakthrough in Bangladesh and sent Javeria back for 24.

Nahida then built a 47-run stand with captain Bismah Maroof before becoming Rumana’s second victim of the day. The prelude fell after 63 caps for Pakistan and their stay of 79 balls on the post with eight fours.

Then Rumana struck and let Omaima Sohail roll for only four minutes. Skipper Bismah (34 out of 53) and Aliya (36 out of 68) continued the process for a while, but the Bangladesh bowlers kept the opposition at bay with regular strikes. Sana Mir and Sidra Nawaz were the only other two fighters to score double digits before the hosts beat 210 on the fourth ball of the penultimate innings.

Rumana was Bangladesh’s star bowler with a 3/35 out of eight overs.

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