Bangladesh women's team spinners came up with fire to help the side outclass Scotland by nine wickets for their third consecutive in the ICC Commonwealth Games Qualifier 2022 at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
With Sri Lanka already having won three matches, the last match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on Monday will decide the winners of the five-team tournament, being played to decide the one remaining slot in this year's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, an ICC press release stated on Sunday.
The line-up for Birmingham will be confirmed in due course, after the Commonwealth Games Federation of the winning country formally accepts the slot. Australia, Barbados, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa are the seven teams already confirmed for the Games.
An unbeaten partnership of 78 runs for the second wicket between Murshida Khatun (50 off 35 balls) and Fargana Hoque (20 of 36) led Bangladesh to victory after they bowled Scotland out for 77 in 17.3 overs, according to ICC, reports BSS.
After Scotland won the toss and chose to bat, Abbi Aitken-Drummon chipped a full toss back to Suraya Azmim in her follow through before the Bangladesh seamer dismissed Kathryn Bryce in her next over to leave Scotland reeling at 12 for two in the fourth over.
Katie McGill then joined opener Sarah Bryce at the crease, and the two stitched together a 38-run partnership, which featured a flurry of boundaries scored in front of square on both the leg side and the off side.
However, with the score on 50, Nahida Akter bowled Katie McGill with an arm ball, which sparked a collapse that saw Scotland lose their last eight wickets for 37 runs. Lorna Jack was next to go, suffering an identical fate to her predecessor before Sarah Bryce skied a catch to a gleeful Shanjida Akter in the circle.
Scotland never recovered, getting bowled out for 77 with 2.3 overs to spare in their allotment of 20.
In reply, Bangladesh lost a wicket off their very first delivery when Shamima Sultana poked at a Kathryn Bryce delivery, edging it through to keeper Sarah Bryce.
Fargana Hoque then joined left-handed opener Murshida Khatun at the crease and the two blunted Scotland's advances to get through to 22 for one at the end of the Powerplay.
Feeling more secure at this point, Murshida Khatun started to play away from her body, picking up a boundary to third man to go with a few singles. In the eighth over, she drove Katherine through the covers for two boundaries, as Fargana Hoque held strong at the other end.
As Murshida approached her first-ever T2OI fifty, Hoque let her farm the strike. The left-hander carted Kathryn Bryce for six to reach 49 before nudging a single away to register her half-century and deliver a win for Bangladesh with 4.4 overs to spare.
Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana was impressed with her team's all-round display.
"After Scotland built a partnership, we didn't panic. We were strict with our own plan. We knew we could break the partnership," she said.
Player-of-the-match Murshida revealed her simple game plan after Bangladesh lost a wicket of the first ball of their chase. "Until the end, don't lose my wicket," she said.