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Bangladesh beat India to lift maiden Women’s Asia Cup T20 title

Bangladesh beat India to lift maiden Women's Asia Cup T20 title

NEW DELHI: Bangladesh stunned India by three wickets in a last-ball finish to win their maiden Women’s Asia Cup T20 title at the Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. Chasing 113, Bangladesh reached the target off the final delivery to record a historic title win over the defending champions India.

Bangladesh began their chase on a solid footing with the opening pair of Ayasha Rahaman (17) and Shamima Sultana (16) adding 33 in the Powerplay overs. Poonam Yadav brought India in the contest with two wickets in two deliveries to dismiss both the openers. However, unlike India, Bangladesh managed to stitch together little partnerships to keep themselves in the fray.

The spinners, led by Poonam (4/9), did their best to keep the contest alive though. With 66/3 in 14 overs, India found themselves slightly ahead. But the 15th over, bowled by Jhulan Goswami, turned the tables as in it, Nigar Sultana creamed three successive fours to take 16 runs from it. With 31 needed off the final four, India captain Harmanpreet Kaur brought back Poonam into the attack and she delivered with the scalp of Nigar (27).

Injuries to first-choice Shikha Pandey and Deepti Sharma meant Harmanpreet took the matters in her own hands. Her first over, innings’ 18th, resulted in a wicket but also brought Bangladesh 10 runs closer to the target. After an excellent 19th over from Poonam, Bangladesh needed nine from the last. Despite losing two wickets in the over, Bangladesh managed to reach the target in a thrilling finale.

That India were able to give Bangladesh a run for their money seemed a distant possibility when they were reduced to 32/4 after being put in to bat. It took a fifth-wicket partnership of 30 runs between Harmanpreet and Veda Krishnamurthy (11) to repair some of the damage. While Harmanpreet continued to wage a lone battle, as she reached a fifth T20I half-century, others failed to offer her any support.

Only four India batters touched double-figures and none barring Harmanpreet crossed 11. She eventually holed out on the final delivery of the Indian innings on 56 which had seven fours in it.

This was the second occasion that Bangladesh defeated India in the tournament after stunning them earlier in the league stage. Thus, India’s run of six straight Asia Cup titles (four ODIs and two T20s) came to an end with Bangladesh claiming their first ever.

Brief Scores: India 112/9 (Harmanpreet 56; Rumana Ahmed 2/22, Khadija Tul Kubra 2/23) lost to Bangladesh 113/7 (Nigar Sultana 27, Rumana Ahmed 23; Poonam Yadav 4/9) by three wickets

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