Bangladesh Upset Australia In ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup Opener
Bangladesh confirmed the sneaking suspicion that they may well be the dark horses to win the inaugural ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup with a seven-wicket upset of Australia in the opening match of the tournament.
Having won both their warm-up matches against hosts South Africa and India, Bangladesh got the competition proper off to a sensational start by rocking Group A rivals Australia with a comfortable chase of the Aussies’ 130/5 at Willowmoore Park in Benoni.
The four byes off Benoni-born, Australia captain Rhys McKenna’s fifth ball in the 17th over sparked off something approaching pandemonium as the heavily supported Bangladesh celebrated the victory wildly, but this was anything but a frenetic chase.
With McKenna having removed opener Misty Shaha with the first ball after the innings break, Bangladesh could easily have panicked in their approach.
But the benefit of having four players – captain Disha Biswas, Rabeya, Marufa and Dilara Akter – who have already played for the senior women’s team shone through in their response as player of the match Dilara Akter (40 off 42, seven fours) and Afia Prottasha (24 off 22) steadied the innings with a partnership of 66.
Chloe Ainsworth’s double strike after the drinks break had the potential to put the cat among the pigeons for Bangladesh, but two of the four Akters in the team, Sumaiya and Shorna (41 and 13 not out, respectively), saw them home with another partnership of 66.
As serene as their chase was, Bangladesh were aided and abetted by Australia, who passed up the chance of making a nervy procession of things by dropping both batters in the final partnership with the winning target edging into view.
With seven of the eight wickets to fall in the match going to pace bowlers, the Aussies may have also missed a trick by turning to their spinners – who were a touch wayward on the day –in the closing overs of the game.
Australia’s total of 130/5, which saw Claire Moore top score with 52 off 51 balls (seven fours), also had an inflated feel to it after some lusty hitting at the death by Amy Smith (16 off seven balls) and McKenna (12 off six) saw the Bangladeshis leak 28 runs in the final two overs.
Scores in brief:
Toss: Australia, who elected to bat.
Australia 130 for 5 in 20 overs (Claire Moore 52, Ella Hayward 35, Disha Biswas two for 25, Marufa Akter two for 29)
Bangladesh 132 for three in 17.5 overs (Sumaiya Akter 41 not out, Dilara Akter 40, Chloe Ainsworth two for 9, Rhys McKenna 1 for 31)
Bangladesh won by seven wickets, with 13 balls to spare.