Women's Asia Cup T20: Final, IND vs BAN, Review - Bangladesh triumph in a thriller to clinch their maiden title

Women’s Asia Cup T20: Final, IND vs BAN, Review – Bangladesh triumph in a thriller to clinch their maiden title

Bangladesh Women played exceptionally well and were the deserved winners.

Bangladesh women's team
Bangladesh women’s team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India Women faced off Bangladesh Women in the final of the Women’s Asia Cup T20 on Sunday. Both these teams finished in the top two positions on the points table at the end of league stages. It was India who managed to clinch the top position due to a better net run rate.

Incidentally, India had lost their only game in the league stages to Bangladesh. Furthermore, this was their first ever loss in the history of Asia Cup. In the final, Bangladesh put India Women into bat first after winning the toss. The girls in Blue only managed to get 112 runs on the board. The game went down to the last over as Bangladesh clinched the thriller off the last ball. They won the Women’s Asia Cup for the first time ever. India was defeated in the final after winning it for six consecutive times.

Harmanpreet Kaur – The saviour

After being put into bat first, India Women were struggling. On what was a slow pitch, the Bangla spinners bowled the perfect lengths and were brilliant in the field. At one stage, India were down to 32/4 and 62/5 after a while. The batters seemed to be absolutely reckless with the shot selection and running.

Smriti Mandhana was first run out trying to get an over-ambitious 3rd run. Deepti Sharma tried to slog across the line which was absolutely needless and was cleaned up by Jahanara Alam. Mithali gave an easy catch to the fielder at mid-off while Anuja Patil was run out obstructing the field.

It looked tough for the Indians to at least reach the total of 100 runs. However, it was the skipper Harmanpreet Kaur who came to the rescue yet again. She was patient and didn’t let the wickets falling at the other end deter her concentration. She played some beautiful shots and stitched little partnerships to take her team past 100.

Kaur got out on the last ball of the innings trying to slog a ball over the deep midwicket fielder and perished in the process. She scored 56 off 42 balls, 50% of India’s total. Although not the best of totals that could be defended, she provided the bowlers at least something to deal with. Rumana Ahmed was yet again the star with the ball and picked 2 wickets.

Thrilling chase

At the toss, Harman wanted her side to have at least 150 runs on the board. Hence, one could say that Bangladesh would have been pretty satisfied going into the innings break. Furthermore, they got a very good start to their innings and were 33 runs for no loss at the end of 6 overs. However, Poonam Yadav quickly turned things around in the 7th over when she picked both the openers off consecutive balls putting the opposition under pressure. The leggie again picked the third wicket of the innings in the 12th over as Bangladesh were down to 56/3.

However, Nigar Sultana, who had a terrific tournament thus far kept Bangladesh in the game. Just as the pressure was mounting up, she hit three consecutive boundaries of Jhulan Goswami’s bowling to get them back. But, Poonam who came to bowl the next over picked the crucial wicket of Nigar Sultana which made things interesting. However, Rumana Ahmed batted gamely only to get out in the last over after scoring 23 off 22. 9 runs were required off the last over.

The skipper Harmanpreet decided to take the responsibility on her shoulders and brought the equation down to the 2 runs off the last delivery. It was Jahanara Alam who kept her nerve and stole the second run even as Deepti Sharma failed to fire in an accurate throw. The history was made in Malaysia as Bangladesh had clinched the Asia Cup title for the first time and the Indian girls were left heartbroken.

Brief Scores

Bangladesh Women won by 3 wickets

India Women: 112/9 in 20 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 56, Veda Krishnamurthy 11, Rumana Ahmed 2/22)

Bangladesh Women: 113/7 in 20 overs (Nigar Sultana 27, Rumana Ahmed 23, Poonam Yadav 4/9)

Result: Bangladesh won by 3 wickets

Player of the Tournament: Harmanpreet Kaur

Player of the Match: Rumana Ahmed