England were able to restrict a seemingly weary Bangladesh team to 76-9 in 20 overs with their accurate bowling and outstanding fielding, when the two sides met in an encounter of the stand-alone Women’s World T20 (WWT20) Tournament played at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in St Lucia.
Debutant Kristie Gordon had magical figures of 3-16, inclusive of one maiden over, as the English bowlers shared the wickets among themselves. Chasing a target revised because of rain, the English ladies ended on 64-3, winning by seven wickets. Amy Jones top-scored with 28 and Natalie Sciever made 23.
In this contest, England’s captain Heather Knight opted to bowl first, taking advantage of the moisture in the pitch occasioned by rainfall over the past few days. With England’s stalwart Katherine Brunt out of the team, three debutants got their opportunity.
Bangladesh were looking to improve their batting technique, since in their last match they had produced against West Indies the worst batting performance in the history of the Women’s World T20 tournament.
Openers Shamima Sultana and Ayasha Rahman started off in frenetic fashion, and Sultana was the first wicket to fall, in the second over with the score on 2, when Shrubsole rattled the opener’s stumps. Rahman continued to consolidate, but she witnessed her partners losing their wickets to some brilliant bowling from the English girls.
Twenty-one-year-old Kristie Gordon, a slow left-arm orthodox bowler, grabbed 3-16 as she exposed the poor technique of the Bangladeshi batters. Rahman top scored with 39, while Ahmed (10) and Alam (12) were the only other batters to reach double figures.
England’s top-order batters were expected to make mincemeat of the small target, with the dimension of the ground being 55 metres; but in their pursuit of 77 for victory, England gave Bangladesh their first taste of success with the first delivery bowled by skipper Salma Khatun. Danielle Wyatt opted to use the review system, but it showed that the ball had struck her back pad adjacent to middle stump.
Tammy Beaumont was joined by the new and improved Amy Jones; and the latter got her innings going with a single off the first delivery she faced, and finished off the over with a crashing boundary that ended an eventful Khatun over.
Khatun, however, continued her brilliance, removing Tammy Beaumont in her second over with a tempting delivery, and keep her team in the game as she darted rippers to the English batters.
Leg-spinner Rumana Ahmed tied down the English batters with some beautiful turning deliveries; and Sciever ran past a Tul Kubra delivery, causing Sultana to easily flick off the bails and effect an easy stumping.
Regrettably, at the end of the ninth over, the heavens opened up, causing a short delay in play. The umpires and match officials then decided that the match should be reduced to 16 overs, with England requiring only nine runs to seal victory. English skipper Heather Knight then finished off the innings in style with two consecutive fours and a single.
Salma Khatun was the pick of the Bangladeshi bowlers with two wickets. (Brandon Corlette)