Bangladesh defeated the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by five wickets in their final Group 1, Super Six fixture, but it was not enough to secure passage into the semi-finals of the inaugural ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.
Disha Biswas and her charges were left to rue the margins of net run-rate, when they ended on the same number of points as India and Australia in the standings. The two nations, sitting on a superior net run rate, saw the entertaining Bangladesh team reach the end of their World Cup road.
In their final encounter, Biswas and her team knew that they had to win substantially to stand any chance of progress. The UAE won the toss and chose to bat first, but quickly lost two wickets in the first over.
Lavanya Keny’s 29 from 46 balls was the mainstay of the innings, watching on as five wickets fell on the other side during her 17-over stay. She did receive some support from Mahika Gaur (17 off 27 balls), but no one else was able to go beyond double figures for the UAE.
Keny herself was eventually bowled out by the impressive Rabeya, who added two scalps in the final over of the innings to end her tournament with a fine spell of three for 14 in four overs. Rabeya has been a constant source of inspiration for Bangladesh and can be proud of her achievements in South Africa.
Ultimately, UAE ended on 69 for nine in their 20 overs, thanks to tight bowling and sharp fielding from Bangladesh. Marufa Akter’s two wickets early on saw her close with figures of two for 16.
The chase for Bangladesh was frenetic, as they sought quick runs. It saw them lose wickets along the way, with Indhuja Nadakumar picking up two upfront. Shorna Akter then blasted 38 from just 19 balls, drilling two sixes and four boundaries to the fence.
Try as she might, the light had faded on Bangladesh’s hopes, and she also departed just before the end. She had her off-stump trimmed by Samaira Dharnidharka, who also picked up a pair of wickets.
Rabeya hit two boundaries in a breezy 14 off 13 balls, and Mst Unnoti Akter was on hand to hit the winning boundary, with Biswas at the other end.
It was a victory, but not quite the one Bangladesh needed to advance to the final four. They had arrived in South Africa on a mission to emulate their U19 male counterparts – who won the World Cup in South Africa – but they fell agonizingly short of reaching the knockout stages.
Scores in brief:
Toss: UAE, who chose to bat first.
UAE 69 for nine in 20 overs (Lavanya Keny 29, Mahika Gaur 17, Rabeya three for 14, Marufa Akter two for 16)
Bangladesh 73 for five in 9.1 overs (Shorna Akter 38, Afia Prottasha 15, Samaira Dharnidharka two for 18, Indhuja Nandakumar two for 34)
Bangladesh won by five wickets, with 65 balls to spare.