Bowlers, Shamima Sultana setup Bangladesh's series-clinching win


Bangladesh Women continued their impressive run of form in T20Is, following their historic Asia Cup win with a series victory over Ireland. Their second win of the series was achieved through starring bowling performances from Jahanara Alam and Nahida Akter, who claimed two wickets apiece to restrict the hosts to 124 for 8. Opener Shamina Sultana then hit a composed half-century to guide Bangladesh home in the chase.

Ireland won the toss but this time inflicted the task of setting a big enough target upon themselves. In the first game they’d managed 134 with more equitable distribution among the middle-order bats. Today, however, Cecilia Joyce was left on her own to prop the team while those around her buckled under the bowling pressure. In the fifth over, the hosts were down to 13 for 2 with Alam claiming both the wickets of Clare Shillington and the big-hitting Gaby Lewis.

In an attempt to ease nerves, Captain Laura Delany then scored a sedate 28-ball 20 while Joyce set about pressing the accelerator pedal at the other end. She struck six fours and a six in her 47-ball 60. The 63-run third-wicket ended in the 13th over Delany fell to Rumana Ahmed. That dismissal was quickly followed by the fall of Isobel Joyce who ran herself out after a miscommunication with her twin. Nahida Akter then claimed her two wickets as Ireland’s innings unraveled. Cecilia was the seventh to fall with only a late cameo from Shauna Kavanagh taking the total past 120.

In reply, Bangladesh reached 96 for 1 by the 14th over with Sultana (51 off 49) and Fargana Hoque (36 off 34) making the chase look ridiculously easy. Sultana’s dismissal to Eimear Richardson triggered a wobble as Hoque, Nigar Sultana and Rumana Ahmed fell in quick succession. Fahima Khatun was the sixth to fall with eight runs were required to be scored off as many deliveries. They, however, needed just three more balls as Sanjida Islam struck a six off the first ball off the last over to seal the victory.

Brief scores: Ireland Women 124/8 in 20 overs (Cecelia Joyce 60; Jahanara Alam 2-15, Nahida Akter 2-18) lost to Bangladesh Women 125/6 in 19.1 overs (Shamima Sultana 51, Fargana Hoque 36; Ciara Metcalfe 2-26) by 4 wickets.

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