Till today, the final of an International Cricket Tournament meant to be the story of tears and regrets for Bangladesh. And this also happened in Asia Cup final. Bengal tigress brought country’s first ever international title, while the two times finalist tigers were failed in both the occasions. Salma-Rumana’s team has become the champion of Women Asia Cup T20 after beating Asia’s giant India in a thrilling finale by 3 wickets.
Bangladesh started their journey in international cricket arena by winning the ICC Trophy back in 1997 from Kuala Lumpur. And now the women team won country’s first ever International Cricket Trophy from Kuala Lumpur as well. Although both teams of men and women won the title of the bilateral series, this is the first title of any multi-national tournament for Bangladesh.
Nobody could imagine that Bangladesh could become the champion of this Asia Cup. Why would they imagine so while Salma-Rumana’s team was never been able to be in the final for once? And they started their tournament with poorly losing against Sri Lanka as well. But that same Bangladesh team won their next 6 games quite convincingly and won the title too.
It seems like that the women’s Asia Cup is arranged to lift the title to hand of Indians. After it started in 2004, the girls of India were the consecutive champions of first 6 tournaments out of 7 editions. But the Bengali girls defeated India once in the group stage, which was addressed as so-called ‘upset’. However, it wasn’t an ‘upset’ at all, the Bengali girls have convincingly proved that in the final.
Bangladesh captain Salma Khatun decided to bowl after winning the toss in their first ever final match. And the bowlers have bowled in a well-controlled way from the very beginning and proved her decision was perfect. India’s first innings collapse started with Smriti Mandhana’s run out in the 4th over with 10 runs on the board. Since then India has been losing wickets at regular intervals.
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur tried to bring a big total for her team by keeping one side safe with her bat, but Bangladesh’s bowlers did not allow the rest of the batters to stay at the crease for so long as her partner. With her 56-runs knock, India got 112 runs for 9 wickets, Rumana Ahmed took 2 wickets in her 4 over with costing 22 runs.
In reply, Bangladesh started well with a decent opening partnership of Shamima and Ayesha, together this opening pair put 35 runs on the board in quick times. After the departure of these two batsmen, Bangladesh played sensitively with keeping an eye on the difference between the ball and the runs to get. When Fahima Khatun was dismissed as the fifth batter, they needed 17 runs from 15 balls to win. And the equation for the last overcame to 9 runs out of 6 balls.
A very familiar equation, is not it? Mushfiq-Sakib’s Bangladesh failed to fill the same equation in the 2012 Asia Cup final. Tigers have also been defeated by the Afghans after failing to fulfil this same equation a few days ago and became whitewashed by them. But today tigresses didn’t let that happen for once more.
In the second ball of the last over, when Rumana Ahmed struck 4 with an excellent inside-out cover drive, then the equation came in 4 runs off 4 balls. But then begins the stereo dramatization. Rumana took a single in the next ball and it became 3 runs required in 3 balls.
At the same time, Sanjida, who was on the strikers, became caught on the long-on boundary when she tried to hit a massive six over the long-on. In the 5th ball, the well-set batter Rumana got run out while she was attempting an impossible double.
The equation 2 runs from the final delivery came in the front of the new batter Jahanara Alam. Jahanara has come down-the-wicket and goes for a big shot and the ball went to the vacant reason between deep mid-wicket and long. While the fielder from long-on threw it back to the keeper, Jahanara and Salma Khatun completed that required 2 runs quite easily and ensure the title for Bangladesh. Rumana Ahmed was declared as the player of the match for her equal contribution for this historic victory with the ball and the bat.
After that excellent run chase, the whole nation celebrates their victory with joys. After this extraordinary win from Salma-Rumana’s team, the scenario of wild cheers from Mashrafe-Tamim & co, who were in the preparatory camp for the West Indies tour, it deserves to be portrayed on the wall. We wish such scenarios will come back to the country’s cricket again and again.