Watch Video: Alana King smashes 28 Runs in 5 balls against Bangladesh

Australia’s historic tour of Bangladesh got underway today on the 21st of March, 2024, with the first of three One-Day Internationals (ODIs), followed by a 3-match Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) series. The ODI opener witnessed the visitors registering a convincing win over Bangladesh in their first-ever bilateral series face-off.

Watch Video: Alana King smashes 28 Runs in 5 balls against Bangladesh. PC: Twitter
Watch Video: Alana King smashes 28 Runs in 5 balls against Bangladesh. PC: Twitter

Australia put into bat first, faced early setbacks as Phoebe Litchfield continued to struggle in the subcontinent, departing for a first-ball duck off Sultana Khatun. Ellyse Perry joined Alyssa Healy, who managed to find a few boundaries, but both fell in quick succession, leaving Australia at 27/3. Sultana and Marufa Akter bowled brilliantly in tandem, with Sultana dismissing Perry for just 2 runs off 10 balls and Marufa claiming Healy’s wicket for 24 off 39 balls.

Beth Mooney and Tahlia McGrath cautiously navigated through around 10 overs with slow scoring and a few close plays and misses. However, McGrath (9) eventually fell victim to Nahida Akter. Ashleigh Gardner then joined Mooney, and their brief 30-run partnership ended with Mooney departing for 25 off 64 balls, leaving Australia struggling at 78/5.

Annabel Sutherland partnered with Gardner, adding another 34 runs, but Nahida Akter managed to break the partnership by dismissing the latter for 32 off 38 balls. Georgia Wareham then joined Sutherland, and she departed after contributing 12 runs. Alana King then took strike, and together with Sutherland, they added 67 runs to the tally.

In the final five balls, King’s consecutive boundaries (6, 6, 4, 6, and 6) changed the momentum in Australia’s favor. They ended their innings at 213/7 from their 50 overs, with King remaining unbeaten on 46* off 31 balls and Sutherland on 58 off 76 balls. With the ball, Nahida (2/27) and Sultana (2/42) led the wickets tally, with Marufa (1/22), Fahima Khatun (1/67), and Shorna Akter (1/19) following.

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In reply, Bangladesh had the worst possible start, losing veteran Fargana Hoque for a duck. However, they briefly managed to navigate through the early trouble. While Murshida Khatun’s resistance on 10(24) ran out, skipper Nigar Sultana, alongside opener Sobhana Mostary, showed composure and grit.

The two found boundaries and anchored the chase as their partnership swelled. Just when Australia needed a breakthrough, Alana got one through Sobhana, dismissing her for 17(38). While Nigar held on at one end, Fahima and Ritu Moni were both run out for 1, and it went from bad to worse for Bangladesh as Nigar was then run out on 27(64), with the team 6 down for 83.

Kim Garth’s twin strike saw her dismiss Shorna for 6(22) and Rabeya for 5(19) as Bangladesh crumbled under pressure. Gardner closed out the innings by scalping the wickets of Sultana (2) and Marufa (0) as Bangladesh’s innings concluded on 95/10, collapsing from 70/3. Gardner led Australia’s wicket tally in the 118-run win with 3/22, with Garth (2/26) following, while Schutt and King each scalped a wicket.

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