Historic day in Hamilton as Bangladesh beat Pakistan to register first-ever World Cup victory
Sidra Amin (L) and Fahima Khatun (R) © Getty Images
It was a historic day at the Seddon Park in Hamilton as Bangladesh edged over Pakistan to win their first-ever World Cup match on Monday (March 14). Sidra Ameen's valiant record-breaking century went in vain for her side as first-timers Bangladesh beat their arch-rivals by nine runs.
After changing the opening pair in their match against New Zealand, Bangladesh returned to the original pair of Shamima Sultana and Sharmin Akhter. Sultana freed her arms in the first over, hitting Fatima Sana’s delivery for a cracking cover drive. Fatima made a come-back with a delivery that offered extra bounce, beating the outside edge of Sultana. Diana Baig took a new ball with Fatima and bowled a maiden over to start with.
Bangladesh survived the opening spells of Pakistan pacers for eight overs without losing a wicket before Nida Dar struck in her first over with the wicket of Sultana for 17. Bangladesh didn’t lose any momentum the next over by Baig went for 14 runs. Fargana Haque, the half-centurion from the previous match against New Zealand, held back while Akhter was the aggressor of the pair. The duo added 42 runs for the second wicket to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Like Dar, Omaima Sohail struck in her first over to break the threatening-looking partnership. Akhter failed to read a loopy delivery from Sohail and was bowled trying to sweep for 44. At 79 for 2, captain Nigar Sultana joined Hoque to take the innings forward. Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof continued with the spin of Sohail and Ghulam Fatima to squeeze Bangladesh’s run rate. The experienced duo batted patiently against spin for nine overs before Maroof was forced to introduce Sana’s pace. This tactic didn’t work as she was hit for 15 runs in her two overs.
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Pakistan went back to Dar and Nashra Sundhu’s spin option, but Bangladesh continued to score consistently at the run rate of 4. Hoque brought up her second half-century of the World Cup off 89 balls. Captain Sultana came close to her first-ever World Cup half-century but she was trapped in front by Sana for 46. The partnership of 96 runs took Bangladesh past 170 in the 40th over.
Along with the half-century, Hoque added another feather to her cap when she became the highest-ever run-scorer for Bangladesh in ODIs. It looked like Rumana Ahmed's counterattack would take Bangladesh past 240 runs but, they lost four wickets in quick succession. The innings eventually concluded for 234 for 7, Bangladesh's highest-ever score in the ODI format.
In reply, Pakistan got off to an inspiring start with the partnership of Sidra Ameen and Nahida Khan. Bangladesh captain Sultana introduced the spin as early as sixth over with Salma Khatun and Nahida Akter from both ends. The pair was given a lifeline multiple times and they made the most of it by adding 50 runs in the 13th over. The left-arm pace of Fariha Trisna was re-introduced in the 15th over with Ahmed bowling from the other end.
Ritu Moni’s medium-pace which created the pressure and Ahmed’s experience came into play when the latter bowled Nahida Khan as an inside edge rattled her stumps on 43. Maroof joined Ameen after the opening partnership of 91 runs. Midway through the chase, Pakistan were 98 for one with the required run rate touching six. Jahanara Alam broke the partnership of 64 runs between Maroof and Ameen to open the floodgates for Bangladesh.
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Under pressure, Pakistan slipped from 183 for three to 225 for nine. Dar entered the chase when Pakistan needed 52 runs off 48 balls. Dar tried to attack from the first ball she faced only to see the substitute fielder Sobhana Mostary take a catch. Fahima Khatun’s 44th over changed the game upside-down when she dismissed Aliya Riaz and Fatima Sana and then ran out Sidra Nawaz, all without conceding a single run.
Amidst the chaos that followed Ameen stood tall and became the first player from Pakistan to score a century in the World Cup. She reached her maiden century off 136 balls to take Pakistan close to the target. Despite losing wickets from the other end, when Ameen was batting it looked like Pakistan would chase the target. When she was run-out in the 48th over, Pakistan still needed 19 runs from the final two overs with only one wicket in the hand.
Bangladesh held their nerve in the field and Akter defended 16 runs from the final over to give Bangladesh their first-ever World Cup victory by nine runs.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh 234 for 7 in 50 overs (Fargana Hoque 71, Nigar Sultana 46; Nashra Sundhu 3/41) beat Pakistan 225/9 in 50 overs (Sidra Ameen 104, Nahida Khan 43; Fahima Khatun 3/38) by nine runs