By Babar Hayat
LAHORE, Pakistan: November 4, 2019 (SNN247.com) – Fargana Hoque smashed a gutsy half-century to help Bangladesh defeat Pakistan by one run in a thrilling fashion in the second One Day International at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Monday.
The thrilling victory meant that the two-match Women’s ODI series ended in a 1-1 draw after Pakistan won the opening match by 26 runs on Sunday.
Nahida Khan, who was the Player of the Match in the first ODI, yet again showed her amazing form with the willow. She smashed 63 runs from 79 balls, striking eight boundaries to set the foundation of a good total on the board of the hosts.
She was ably supported by Aliya Riaz (36 off 38 – 3 fours), skipper Bismah Maroof (34 off 53 – 3 fours), and Javeria Khan (24 off 33 – 3 fours). However, Pakistan needed someone to play the anchor role, which remained missing despite Nahida staying in the middle for a long period.
Pakistan’s middle-order and late-middle-order failed to thrive. It helped Bangladeshi bowlers to restrict Pakistan from marching towards a big total.
In the end, Pakistan finished with 10/210 from 48.4 overs, largely due to a disciplined bowling effort by the visitors. Rumana Ahmed (8-1-35-3), Salma Khatun (9.4-2-36-2), Nahida Akter (10-1-43-0), Panna Ghosh (9-0-45-1), and Jahanara Alam (10-0-39-0) all remained under the ambit of their defined role.
Pakistan needed to strike early to take the sting out of the run-chase. Bangladeshi openers were fully aware of the situation and played rather cautiously at the start. Murshida Khatun (44 off 67 – 6 fours) and Sharmin Sultana (27 off 26 – 5 fours) made sure they don’t let Pakistan walk away with early gains.
However, Diana Baig struck in the 7th over of the innings and claimed the scalp of Sharmin, who was looking ominous. Sharmin’s dismissal resulted in another quick success for Pakistan as the in-form Nigar Sultana (Duck off 6) failed to trouble the scorers.
Only when Pakistan looked to dictate terms, Fargana Hoque (67 off 97 – 6 fours) unleashed her batting abilities. Skipper Rumana Ahmed (31 off 43 – 2 fours) also helped up the scoring rate to take the pressure off her key batter.
Bangladesh looked like easily overhauling the target at 4/187 in the 43rd over. Pakistani bowlers got a lucky breakthrough in Fargana’s wicket, which changed the complexion of the match. The run-chase, which was looking like a walk in the park, now became a long ask.
Bangladesh still needed six runs to win when Panna Ghosh became the ninth batter to be back in the hut. Pakistan were agonizingly close to pulling off a thriller. However, Nahida Akter (4* off 6) and Jahanara Alam (7* off 10) helped Bangladesh get over the line on the second-last delivery of the final over.