The Bangladesh women's team managed a morale-boosting 118-run win in their opening match against Papua New Guinea yesterday before today's tough challenge against Pakistan women's team at the P Sara Oval.
In their ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier opening match at the Colombo Cricket Club ground, Bangladesh lost the first wicket of Sharmin Sultana in the second over after deciding to bat first but Sharmin Akhter and Sanjida Islam repaired the early damage, sharing 51 runs for the second wicket before the latter was dismissed for 28. Then Sharmin and Fargana Haque put on 69 runs for the third wicket which ultimately helped the team post 215 for six in 50 overs.
Sharmin hit seven boundaries in her 56 off 86 balls while Fargana contributed 51 off 72 and hit the same number of fours. Bangladesh were then in trouble when Sharmin and captain Rumana Ahmed were dismissed in two consecutive deliveries in the 31st over but the experienced Salma Khatun played a vital unbeaten 32-run knock to put up a challenging total on the board.
Salma smashed four boundaries during her 31-run innings.
Papua New Guinea were never in the game in chase of the 216-run winning target. Skipper Pauke Siaka top-scored with a 41-ball 32 and was the owner of one of just three double-digit scores along with Konio Oala (29) and Tanya Ruma (20) as they were bowled out for 97 runs.
After being reduced to two for two by the Bangladeshi opening pair of Jahanara Alam and Panna Ghosh, the trio of double-digit scores took PNG to 77 for four, but when Venu Frank was trapped in front by Salma Khatun, it set off a collapse of six wickets for 20 runs as NG folded for 97 in 32.1 overs.
Jahanara, Panna, Salma and Rumana Ahmed took two wickets each, while Khadija Tul Kubra took one.
SCORES IN BRIEF
BANGLADESH WOMEN'S TEAM: 215-6 in 50 overs (Sharmin 56, Sanjida 28, Fargana 51, Salma 32 not out; Oa 2-23, Tom 2-35, Jimmy 2-32)
PAPUA NEW GUINEA WOMEN'S TEAM: 97 all out in 32.1 overs (Siaka 32; Jahanara 2-27, Panna 2-20, Salma 2-14, Rumana 2-13)
Result: Bangladesh women's team won by 118 runs.