Bangladesh prevail in thriller to draw ODI series with Pakistan

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STAFF REPORT

LAHORE

Bangladesh’s tailenders held their nerves to sneak a thrilling victory on the penultimate ball as they won the second and final ODI against Pakistan by one wicket.

Having already swept the T20I series and won the ODI opener, Pakistan looked all set to finish the home assignment against Bangladesh unbeaten but the visitors had other plans as the snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the final overs.

Chasing 211, Bangladesh lost two early wickets in quick succession. Their opener Sharmin Sultana, who looked set from the start of the innings, was the first one to fall when she was caught by Aliya Riaz off Diana Baig for 27 while Nigar Sultana, the No.3, fell in the next over for nought.

Bangladesh were reduced to 29/2 inside eight overs, but opener Murshida Khatun and Fargana Hoque made sure there were no further hiccups. Together, the duo shared a crucial 82-run stand as they lifted their side to 111/2 before losing the opener for 44.

Fargana, however, remained unperturbed and along with skipper Rumana Ahmed, added 55 runs. The trouble for the visitors began when they lost these two batters in the later stage of the innings which shifted the balance in favour of Pakistan. Rumana fell after scoring 31 from 43 in the 39th over while Fargana was dismissed after eight balls after top-scoring with a 97-ball 67.

Sanjida Islam was the only other batter to score in double digits, but Pakistan kept striking regularly in the death overs. At one stage, Bangladesh needed just 16 from last four overs with four wickets in hand, but Pakistan fought back to reduce them to 208/9 at the 49-over mark.

The hosts were just one wicket away from victory while Bangladesh needed four runs. The match could have gone either way but it was Bangladesh’s day as Jahanara Alam and Nahida Akter helped their side they seal a nervy victory on the penultimate ball.

Earlier, Pakistan got off to a steady start with openers Nahida Khan and Javeria Khan stitching a half-century stand inside the first 10 overs. In the next over, spinner Rumana provided Bangladesh with the first breakthrough, sending Javeria back for 24.

Nahida then forged a 47-run stand with her captain Bismah Maroof before becoming Rumana’s second victim of the day. The opener fell after top-scoring for Pakistan for 63 and her 79-ball stay at the crease featured eight fours.

Rumana then struck in her next over, bowling Omaima Sohail for just four. Skipper Bismah (34 from 53) and Aliya (36 from 68) steadied the proceedings for a while but Bangladesh bowlers kept the opposition in check with regular strikes. Sana Mir and Sidra Nawaz were the only other two batters to score in double digits before the hosts were bowled out for 210 on the fourth ball of the penultimate over of their innings.

Rumana was Bangladesh’s star bowler with returns of 3/35 from eight overs.