Leg-spinner Rumana Ahmed holds the key to Bangladesh Women’s World T20 success, but ignore up-and-coming off-spinner Khadija Tul Kubra at your peril.
Star of the show
Name: Rumana Ahmed
Role: Leg-spinning all-rounder
Batting stats: Runs – 616; Average – 14.00; Strike-rate – 80.83; Best – 42*
Bowling stats: Wickets – 48; Average – 19/18; Economy – 5.32; Best – 3/2
Rumana Ahmed is that rare player who is both unerringly consistent and thrives on the big occasion, and this year she’s come into her own. A record of 26 wickets from 20 games in 2018, whilst maintaining an economy rate of 4.53, proves her accuracy, and she’s starred in Bangladesh’s two big triumphs of the year.
She claimed 10 wickets in the Asia Cup, which Bangladesh wrestled from India’s grasp against all odds, and added another 10 during the World T20 Qualifier, where failure to progress would have been a huge blow – at a combined average of under 6. Unafraid to give the ball some flight and rip, Ahmed should enjoy bowling on grippy Caribbean pitches.
Against India in the Asia Cup, Ahmed showed her ability to succeed under pressure, scooping the Player of the Match award in both their clashes against them. In the group stage she took 3/21 with the ball before hitting an unbeaten 42 off 34 to seal a record chase, while she claimed 2/22 in the final before adding 23 off 22 with the bat.
One to watch
Name: Khadija Tul Kubra
Bowling stats: Wickets – 33; Average – 18.48; Economy – 5.28; Best – 3/5
Though only 23, in some ways Khadija Tul Kubra is already a veteran, with 50 international games under her belt having made her international debut seven years ago as a 16-year-old. She was sent to train with the national team as young as 14, with her father ignoring opposition from the rest of the family and packing her off, insisting, “Academics is important, but what you’ll learn by seeing these girls, you won’t read in books.”
It’s this year that she’s graduated to being an integral member of the side, claiming 2/23 against India in the Asia Cup final before signing off Bangladesh’s preparations for the World T20 with one of the all-time great ODI bowling performances, snaring 6/20 in 10 mesmerising overs as Bangladesh skittled Pakistan for 94.