Bangladesh survived a mighty scare by a proud United States of America (USA) team, as the Group A frontrunners eventually prevailed to maintain their unbeaten start to the inaugural ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup at Willowmoore Park B Field on Wednesday morning.
Handed a target of 104 to win, Bangladesh seemed to be cruising home, on 59 for two after eight overs. But the loss of Shorna Akter, who skied Tanmayi Eyyunni to long-off, and then Dilara Akter soon after, gave the USA hope of an upset before they headed home.
Bangladesh skipper, Disha Biswas looked like she was set on taking her team home, but she was undone by a beautiful piece of bowling by Aditiba Chudasama. The off-spinner got one to grip, turn sharply and get through the gate, startling Biswas and sending another shiver down Bangladesh’s spine.
It was left to Rabeya (18 not out from 24 balls) and Misty Shaya (14 not out from 13 balls) to nervously guide their side beyond 100 and finally, to victory. They won with 15 balls to spare, but they knew they had been in a proper scrap.
Earlier, USA had put up 104 for four after winning the toss and taking first strike. Snighda Paul contributed a steady 26 off 37 balls, and there was also assistance from Disha Dhingra (20 from 39 balls) and Isani Vaghela, who made a run-a-ball 17 not out.
Biswas claimed two for 13 with the ball, as Bangladesh kept the scoring under six to the over. With pitches slowing down and taking more spin, variation in bowling departments will be a crucial factor in determining who will walk away with the first-ever U19 Women’s T20 World Cup crown.
This match marked the end of the tournament road for USA, but they depart with their heads held high after pushing one of the tournament favorites all the way.
Bangladesh now move onto the next stage, as Group A winners.
Scores in brief:
USA, who chose to bat.
USA 103 for four in 20 overs (Snighda Paul 26, Disha Dhingra 20, Isani Vaghela 17 not out, Disha Biswas two for 13)
Bangladesh 104 for five in 17.3 overs (Shorna Akter 22, Rabeya 18 not out, Dilara Akter 17, Aditiba Chudasama two for 15)
Bangladesh won by five wickets, with 15 balls to spare.