Bowlers do well to restrict Scotland Women to just 140, before batters take the team across the line
Fargana Hoque’s second fifty of the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017 and a clinical bowling performance gave Bangladesh Women a comfortable seven-wicket win over Scotland Women in a Group B match at the Colombo Cricket Club ground on Friday (February 10).
The spinners, led by Salma Khatun and Khadija tul Kubra, dismissed the European side for 140 in 49.1 overs. The batters overhauled the target in 37.3 overs, reaching 143 for 3 with little fuss.
Having chosen to bat, Scotland’s openers got off to a nervy start. Jahanara Alam, bowling with two slips in place, gave away just one run and plenty of reasons to appeal in her first five overs. The first wicket came when Panna Ghosh elicited a nick from Sarah Bryce that was pouched behind the wicket to have Scotland 4 for 1.
Sarah’s elder sister, the 19-year-old Kathryn, showed more application and Ollie Rae found the map to the middle of her bat to greet Kubra, the offspinner, with boundaries straight down the ground and to deep square leg.
But the spinners proved Scotland's undoing as both batters were bowled in quick succession to rob the innings of momentum after their 33-run stand. The fifty took 20.2 overs coming.
Bangladesh set up a packed infield to the big-hitting Rachel Scholes, preferring to dry up the singles. Scholes and Kari Anderson, their first match half-centurion, added 50 for the fourth wicket, but neither was able to kick on as Kubra (3 for 31) and Khatun (3 for 21) ran through the middle and the tail.
Scotland had a loud and loyal group of supporters – family and friends – cheering them on and bringing out the chants and flags. So it was with intent that the team came out to defend 141. They needed quick wickets, and Katie McGill and Kathryn gave it to them.
The two kept their nerve about them, correcting initially wayward lines to reduce Bangladesh to 32 for 2. But where Scotland was hurt by its large dot ball percentage, the Asian side scampered the singles to keep the scoreboard ticking and put pressure on the fielders. Where Bangladesh bowled end to end, any chokehold set up by Kirstie Gordon, the left-arm spinner, was released by the loose ball from the other end.
It was only right that Gordon play a role in the next breakthrough, diving to her left from point to send back Sharmin Akhter off Scholes. But with Hoque (53 not out) and Rumana Ahmed (38 not out), the captain, confident and unhurried with their strokeplay, the fourth-wicket partnership would burgeon to an unbeaten 75 to take them across the line.