Bangladesh are now just one win away from the Women’s World T20 in the Windies after a third convincing win in three games.
An inspired spell of leg-spin bowling from Fahima Khatun sparked a dramatic UAE collapse and launched Bangladesh into the semi-finals of WT20Q with a third big win in three games.
For the first 10 overs of UAE’s innings, this was the game you’d expect it to be, with the eventual prize – a place in the Women’s World T20 – so valuable. It was cagey, intriguing, gritty cricket, Bangladesh bowling to keep the runs down rather than attacking and leaking boundaries, and UAE conserving for a late charge, something they have shown themselves capable of elsewhere in the competition. There was little sign of the destruction to come as UAE moved to 26/1 after 10 overs.
It was leg-spinner Fahima Khatun who struck to break the deadlock. Her first over had gone for two without costing a wicket – typical of the early exchanges – and after the first ball of her second over was swept for two, she pounced, coaxing the dangerous Nisha Ali into sweeping into hands of deep square.
Then the calm before the storm, seven dots, five singles, another dot. UAE were 33/2, and then all hell broke loose. Fahima Khatun was again the firestarter, claiming a hat-trick, as Udeni Dona also swept to backward square, Esha Oza clumped to long on, and Kavisha Egodage was struck plumb in front to spark wild celebrations.
That ended her over, but the carnage continued, Heema Hotchandani run out two balls later before Bangladesh’s other leggie Rumana Ahmed struck twice in two balls. Humari Tasneem averted a second hat-trick in as many overs, but the damage was done, the collapse reading 6/0 in eight balls. There were two more overs of calm – six runs coming off them – before two wickets in two balls from Nahida Akter brought the innings to a swift conclusion.
The game was gone for UAE, but depending on the result in PNG’s clash with Netherlands, how quickly Bangladesh reached the target mattered. The early wicket of Ayasha Rahman stymied them for a time, but thanks to Nigar Sultana’s unbeaten 21, Bangladesh still reached the target within seven overs – quickly enough to knock UAE out of the competition.