By Shashank Kishore in Sylhet
Against Bangladesh Women, England has a chance to brush up its act ahead of the business end of the ICC Women’s World T20
The Bangladesh side that turned up on Wednesday made no bones about the fact that it wanted to make up for the men's loss to West Indies the night before. But putting theory to paper is hard work, as it found out.
Emotions were riding high and it was a historic moment for many. On one hand, the players had nerves to contend with, on the other, there was the responsibility of living up to the expectations of the crowd. Bangladesh fell short in the end, but there were a lot of positives it could draw from ahead of its second ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Group B fixture against England at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium on Thursday (March 28).
The bowling and fielding for large parts of the West Indies innings was on the money, but Bangladesh's inexperience was exposed towards the end when it was left scurrying with West Indies’ tail managing to squeeze in a few extra runs that made the difference.
With the bat, Bangladesh wasn’t helped by a sedate approach in the Power Play overs. It is a team that's still finding its feet at the top level and Shane Deitz, the coach, called for a bit of patience while dealing with the players. Even the most optimistic Bangladesh fan would believe a semifinal spot is a bridge too far, and an opportunity of playing without the burden of qualification could help the team put up a fight.
The match as such may not have the intrigue of some of the other clashes in the competition so far, but its importance can’t be understated. No one understands this more than Charlotte Edwards, the England captain, who stated emphatically that there was no way her team would be taking the host lightly. “We were already bitten once last year," she said, referring to England's loss against Sri Lanka in the group stages of the Women's World Cup. "We’ve suffered a couple of times before that too, so none of us will be taking them for granted. This is a World Cup game, the opposition doesn’t matter, when we go out there we’ll be playing them like we do when we play Australia."
England had a minor slip-up against West Indies but there was a stamp of aggression and ruthlessness in the way it trounced India by five wickets on Wednesday. The bowling attack, sans Katherine Brunt, out due to a back injury, proved too hot for the Indians with the pace duo of Anya Shrubsole, no stranger to subcontinent conditions, and Jenny Gunn bowling with fire to rip the Indian top order in demanding conditions.
England’s batting is still a work in progress though. Sarah Taylor is yet to come into her own, while Tammy Beaumont and Natalie Sciver look out of touch. The top order is still some distance away from gaining full steam, and they wouldn’t be presented with a better opportunity than here to pull up their socks before the tournament enters the business end.
Bangladesh: Salma Khatun (capt), Jahanara Alam, Rumana Ahmed, Fargana Hoque, Ayasha Rahman, Lata Mondol, Sanjida Islam, Fahima Khatun, Panna Ghosh, Sharmin Akter, Nuzhat Tasnia (wk), Khadijatul Kubra, Shohaly Akther, Shamima Sultana, Saila Sharmin.
England: Charlotte Edwards (capt), Tammy Beaumont, Lydia Greenway, Rebecca Grundy, Jenny Gunn, Danielle Hazell, Amy Jones, Heather Knight, Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor (wk), Frances Wilson, Kate Cross, Jodie Dibble, Georgia Elwiss.