Sports, Cricket

Tigresses kick off Asia Cup defence in style

Published : 01 Oct 2022 07:47 PM

Bangladesh Women's made a commanding start to their Asia Cup campaign as the host thrashed Thailand by nine wickets at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium Ground-2 on Saturday.

The defending champions required a minor 83-run target which was completed in 11.4 overs with skipper Nigar Sultana Joty signing off with a six to register the victory. 

Shamima Sultana played a stormy innings of 49 off 30 which featured ten boundaries, however, the batter missed her fifty for just one run.  Opener Shamima, who hit 10 fours in her essay, was bowled around her legs one run away from a richly-deserved half-century. 

Then, Fargana Hoque and Nigar took the team to the port of victory, Fargana remained unbeaten on 26 in 29 balls aided by two 4's and a six.

Earlier, the Tigress dominated with the ball as well, Rumana Ahmed scalped three, Nahida Akter and Sohely Akhter took a couple of wickets and veteran Salma Khatun took one.

Thailand kept losing wickets at a regular pattern and were slumped to 82 in 19.4 overs, batter Phannita Maya was the highest run-getter for Thailand with 26 off 22 deliveries.

Bangladesh are the defending champions of the Asia Cup, and Nigar Sultana, the Bangladesh captain, said they are eager to keep the title at home.

Thailand won the toss and opted to bat first. But the disciplined Bangladesh bowling attack didn't give them a chance to score a big total.

Shamima's stroke-filled 49 off just 30 balls helped Bangladesh chase down the target with 50 balls to spare. She struck 10 boundaries en route to her match-winning knock. 

Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana said, "We always plan to utilise the powerplay. Shamima apu batted exceptionally well and Pinky also gave good support and we want this. Whenever we lack in these areas, we fail to score big or are unable to chase a big target. I think it's a good start and we always think about our batters' approach so that we have good intent," Nigar told the media after the game.

The Bangladesh skipper is confident about retaining the title.

"First of all, the first game is always important in a tournament as it sets the tone for the rest of the tournament. At the same time, it also boosts the morale of the team going forward. Obviously, the pitch at the World Cup qualifiers and this pitch here is different and I feel we should convincingly win against teams like Thailand," she added.

Bangladesh will face Pakistan in their next match on 3 October.