It was match number 20 of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2018, and as the tournament is coming to the end of the league stage, and the four semi finalists are all charged up- England, Windies, India and Australia. It was time for a game between two teams who have nothing to lose at this very stage in the world cup- South Africa Vs Bangladesh at the Beausejour Stadium.
Salma Khatun the Bangladesh Captain won the toss and asked the protean women to bat first.
The skipper Van Niekerk and Lizelle Lee commenced the innings for South Africa and the first boundary for South Africa came off the willow of Lee in 1.4 overs off Salma Khatun’s bowling as Lee drove one off the short delivery bowled outside off and cut wide through the covers. The opening stand was going pretty well for the proteas just when came a breakthrough for Bangladesh as Lee was sent back to the Pavilion after a run out off Rumana Ahmed’s bowling. It was bowled to Niekerk as she pushed it to short third for a single but the fielder did well to dismiss Lee. South Africa was 25-1 after 3.2 overs.
In walked Marizanne Kapp, right-handed bat. A good partnership between the on and off field partners Kapp and Niekerk. At the end of the first power play, the proteas had 48 runs on the board at the loss of one wicket. They were scoring at the rate of 8 RPO. But it all came at the right time for Bangladesh as Kapp was caught by Fargana Hoque at the deep mid wicket off Ahmed’s bowling when Kapp mistimed one well tossed up delivery bowled outside off. Stellar catch that! Kapp sent back after her 25 off 19. After Kapp’s dismissal there was no settling for the South African women as wickets fell at regular intervals and there was no time for them to settle and a failure of building partnerships. The Bangladesh bowling deserved some serious appreciation especially the skipper, Khatun who took 3 wickets for her 20 runs in her four over spell. Khadija, Ahmed and Nahida were impressive too. The Bangladeshis kept it tight and the key was taking wickets at regular intervals and not allowing the Proteas to build partnerships. The South African women put up 109 runs for the loss of 9 wickets at the end of their innings.
The total put up by the South African women was not mammoth and looked like an easy chase. The only key was taking some time and building partnerships and not losing many wickets in the middle. The Protean bowling has got some serious power as well with the likes of Sune Luus, Masabata Klaas and Daniels. Bangladesh had to chase down 110 at 5.5 RPO to win the contest. It was all about the two teams fighting out there for pride with nothing to lose.
The chase began!
Sharmin Akhter and Ayasha Rahman opened the innings for Bangladesh but there was absolutely no settling for the Bangladeshis as the very first wicket fell in the fourth over itself for just 7 runs as Ayasha Rahman was sent back by Daniels off a full length delivery which angled back into Rahman. Rahman lbw after her 3 runs from 9 deliveries. Bangladesh was 7-1 after 3.2 overs. After the end of the mandatory power play, Bangladesh put up 13 runs on the board for the loss of 1 wicket. Bangladesh was scoring at just above 2 RPO. Much less than the required run rate of 5 RPO. The wickets kept falling for Bangladesh at really short intervals which was the main reason why they could not cope with the increasing required run rate. Though they lost only a total of 5 wickets at the end of their innings but they just could not establish partnerships and rotate strike with boundaries at required times and that is why they could not score as per the required run rate. The South African women kept bowling at an economy rate of 5 RPO majorly. Bangladesh could only score 79 runs for the loss of 5 wickets at the end of their innings and the batting was a clear disappointment. It seemed like they just were not there for the chase, they played at the pace of a snail and their batting pace was simply contradictory with what is required for this format of the game. South Africa won by 30 runs. Marizanne Kapp was awarded the player of the match for being the highest scorer from the winning side and also for her economical bowling in the match.
However, for both Bangladesh and South Africa, the batting was a clear disappointment and much more is expected from sides that are so good with the bowling and fielding. Both South Africa and Bangladesh will be going back and thinking where they need to work on and their batting will be one topping the priority list.
So here end the league stage matches for this edition of the tourney and it all comes down to the Semis and the Finals.
AUSTRALIA play the defending champions WEST INDIES on 23rd November at Antigua at 1:30 AM IST in the first semi finals.
INDIA play ENGLAND in the second semi finals on 23rd November at Antigua at 5:30 AM IST.
The 22 Yard stretch that molded me, is what I hold sacred. A cricketer weaving life’s innings into words. A Rohit Sharma Admirer always. I believe writing and cricket aren’t passions, but ways of life, so truly living the dream!