Marufa, Rabeya script Bangladesh's first ODI win vs India - NEWS SENTRY


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Sunday 16 July 2023

Marufa, Rabeya script Bangladesh's first ODI win vs India

Bangladesh 152 (Nigar 39, Fargana 27, Amanjot 4-31) beat India 113 (Deepti 20, Marufa 4-29, Rabeya 3-30) by 40 runs via DLS method

The theme of low-scoring matches from the T20I series spilled over to the opening ODI in Mirpur in Bangladesh's first ever win over India in the fifty-over format. While it was the Bangladesh spinners that troubled India in the T20Is, a fiery Marufa Akter proved to be too hot to handle in the first ODI as India were bowled out for 113 and lost by 40 runs.

Marufa struck twice with the new ball and twice in successive deliveries in the middle overs as she finished with four wickets in her first ODI in Bangladesh. She stunned India with high pace as well as movement to break the back of the chase and register her best figures in international cricket. Legspinner Rabeya Khan then chipped in with three middle-order wickets to puncture the chase.

This was after Amanjot Kaur, on ODI debut, picked up a four-wicket haul to restrict Bangladesh to 152 under overcast conditions.

Chasing a revised target of 154, thanks to the rain during Bangladesh's innings, India began on a positive note with Smriti Mandhana striking Marufa for crisp fours through midwicket in back-to-back overs. But soon, the fast bowler got one back, getting Mandhana caught behind, thanks to a full-stretch diving take by wicketkeeper Nigar Sultana. Priya Punia, playing her first ODI since March 2021, took 27 balls for her ten before flicking one off Marufa to mid-on, where Murshida Khatun ran in and took a diving catch.

While Marufa was cranking up the pace from one end, Nigar Sultana kept on rotating the spinners from the other to keep the pressure on India. Left-arm spinner Nahida Akter trapped Harmanpreet Kaur lbw a ball after she was carved through backward point for four to have India at 37 for 3 after ten overs. Soon, Rabeya struck twice - first by bowling Yastika Bhatia and then by getting Jemimah Rodrigues. The slowness of the surface came into play when Rodrigues was a touch early into the pull and skied a catch to mid-on.

Deepti Sharma, along with Amanjot, then raised the hopes for India. On Amanjot's T20I debut - where she was the Player of the Match - the pair had stitched what eventually turned out to be a match-winning partnership. On Sunday, the duo looked fairly at easy and rotated strike to keep the scorecard ticking. They took 71 balls for their 30-run alliance with Amanjot using the sweep and flick to good effect in countering the low bounce.

But Sultana brought back Marufa, who duly delivered. Amanjot looked to slice a full ball and was ruled out caught behind - a decision she was not happy about and had a chat with the on-field umpire while walking back. From 91 for 5, India were reduced to 91 for 8 with Marufa first toppling Sneh Rana with an indipping full ball before Deepti pulled a shortish ball from Rabeya to midwicket.

Bangladesh only tightened the screws thereon to dismiss Pooja Vastrakar, who got a contentious caught-behind decision, and B Anusha to signal the celebration that could go on all evening in Mirpur

Earlier, wet outfield owing to early morning rain delayed toss by 20 minutes and the start of play by ten. A horrendous mix-up following a slow start saw the returning Sharmin Akter run-out for an 18-ball duck. Amanjot then dismissed Murshida in the next over before Fargana Hoque and Sultana led the resurrection on either side of a long rain delay. The pair added 49 for the third wicket but 52 of the 74 balls in the partnership were dot balls, which allowed the Indian bowlers to dictate terms. While Sultana and Fargana managed to regularly find the boundary before the rain break, that was not the case upon resumption.

As a result, Fargana fell caught behind in an attempt to force the pace against Amanjot's length ball. Soon Ritu Moni mistimed a pull off Devika Vaidya's legspin to fall to a superb catch at midwicket from Rodrigues. But Sultana kept the scorecard moving before she missed a flick to be trapped lbw. Amanjot completed her four-for when Rabeya chipped one to covers.

A 26-run stand between Fahima Khatun and Sultana Khatun pushed Bangladesh towards 150 with Shorna Akter absent hurt on her ODI debut. A grand total of 19 wides also aided the cause as Bangladesh's 152 eventually proved enough on a slow-burner.

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