Hosts slump to series defeatStaff Correspondent
An unusually slow batting cost Bangladesh the match and the series as South Africa completed a 16-run win in the third and final Twenty20 International to take the three-match series 2-1 on Friday.
The home side dismissed South Africa for a below-par 85 runs but let the advantage slip out of their hands once they began their chase cumbersomely having managed just one run in the first three overs.
Openers Lata Mondol and Rumana Ahmed put the hosts under immense pressure with their sluggish batting that saw the team conceding the two maidens in the opening three overs before rain briefly halted the game.
Things hardly improved after the match resumed without any over being curtailed as they maintained same scoring rate and lost few wickets in the process.
Rumana took 15 balls to get off the mark but by the time she opened up with two fours in one over it was too late as South Africa had already taken the driving seat.
Thousands of fans, who gathered at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on a public holiday, still had some faith in the team despite them reeling at 25-2 in the first 10 overs, but they returned with their heart broken.
One-down Farzana Haque provided the lone resistance but once her desperate shot to improve the run-rate ended with a catch at long-on to substitute fielder it was all over for Bangladesh.
Farzana, who made a 31-ball 23 and hit a four and a six, was only player looking comfortable against the South African attack who seemed to change their game plan by bowling short.
Earlier, skipper Mignon du Preez hit a 48-ball 50 to give South Africa something to fight with before the Bangladesh’s spinners rattled their lower-order. Khadaz-tul Kubra and Ayesha Rahman took three wickets each giving away 14 and four runs respectively as South Africa lost their last seven wickets for 10 runs.
Marizanne Kapp was the only other South African player to reach double figure – apart from Mignon – with 21 from 24 balls. Ayesha ended their 44-run stand when she bowled both Marizanne and Mignon in her consecutive overs.
When Marizanne and Mignon were batting it appeared South Africa would post a total close to 120 runs but Bangladesh made a brilliant comeback that was later wasted by the openers.
‘I think the damage was done in the first five overs,’ Mamta Maben, technical director of the women’s team told reporters after the match.
‘Whatever advantage we gained by restricting them to such a low score was given away and that is where I feel the complexion of the game changed totally.’ said Maben.
Skipper Salma also echoed the same views and held her upper-order batswomen responsible for putting the team under pressure.
‘We were under immense pressure as we could not put enough runs on the board at the beginning. That’s why in the middle-order some of us wanted to go for wild shots which did not work,’ said Salma.
South African skipper Mignon praised the home side for the fight they put up in the series and said the team have the potential to move up in the rankings in the coming days.
‘They are a very competitive unit and I won’t be surprised if they are ranked with some of the top teams in the world soon,’ said Mignon, the player of the match, who will lead her side in the ICC World Twenty20 beginning in Sri Lanka next week.
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