Hayley Jensen and Leigh Kasperek took three wickets apiece as New Zealand produced a tremendous comeback to down Bangladesh at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
The White Ferns were up against it having been bowled out for 91, but the bowlers did the job to dismiss Bangladesh 17 runs short of the target in the first meeting between the teams. Ritu Moni’s first four-wicket haul was not enough to steer Bangladesh to an historic victory in Group A, with her 4/18 the best figures of the Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 so far.
Bangladesh battled in the modest chase but were dismissed for 74, with the White Ferns’ effort the lowest score to ever be successfully defended in the competition.
Bangladesh kept things tight before Rachel Priest found her feet to steer New Zealand to 33 without loss after they chose to bat. Captain Salma Khatun stepped in to halt the flow by removing her opposite number Sophie Devine for 12, Fahima Khatun with the catch at backward point. The skipper was in a merciless mood as she trapped Priest lbw for 25.
Suzie Bates helped New Zealand find rhythm, but she soon fell when bowled by Ritu for 15.
Bangladesh’s bowling brilliance continued as Maddy Green was stumped by Nigar Sultana Joty off Rumana Ahmed before they claimed their second scalp in as many balls when Jensen was run out backing up. The pressure continued to mount as Katey Martin perished for 6 when caught at point by Fahima Khatun off Ritu.
Anna Petersen then fell when Fargana Hoque Pinky ran in from long-on to take a stunning diving catch off Ritu, while an impressive take from Fahima stopped Amelia Kerr (5) from saving the day. Ritu ended her stint with the first four-wicket haul Bangladesh have taken in the World Cup.
Rumana took her second when Kasperek was stumped for 2. It was only fitting that skipper Salma would be there to polish the innings, trapping Lea Tahuhu lbw as New Zealand lost eight wickets for just 25 runs.
It was only the third time the White Ferns had been kept under 100 runs at a World Cup but it was clear they weren’t going to go down without a fight as Jensen (3/11) and Kasperek (3/23) made amends.
Bangladesh soon had batting woes of their own, Kasperek dealing with Murshida Khatun (11) while Ayasha Rahman was caught by Devine at mid-off off Jensen. Held at 32/3 at the midway point, Bangladesh’s eagerness to lower the required rate proved costly as Fargana Hoque and Ritu Moni were both run-out.
Jensen took her second scalp when she trapped Rumana lbw for 1 before Bates caught Sobhana Mostaray for 7 at mid-on off Devine. Jahanara Alam was the seventh to depart when she was bowled by spinner Kerr, before Jensen took her third scalp in the same manner against Fahima.
Just 91 on the board to defend, but the New Zealand bowlers have done it!— ICC (@ICC) February 29, 2020
Although Bangladesh made a fight of it, they couldn't get over the line. #T20WorldCup | #NZvBAN
📝📽️ https://t.co/4LwfsxaP49 pic.twitter.com/3KKPuqcome
Salma could only manage 4 before she was bowled by Kasperek, who claimed her third against Nigar Sultana (21) in the final over to seal the win.
The win for New Zealand means Group A is perfectly set-up for a final showdown, with a trans-Tasman match on Monday seeing them face Australia on Monday, with the winner set to reach the semi-finals.