Melbourne: Hayley Jensen and Leigh Kasperek took three wickets apiece as New Zealand produced a tremendous comeback to beat Bangladesh at the ongoing Women’s T20 World Cup on Saturday.
The White Ferns were up against it having been bowled out for 91 but the bowlers did the job to dismiss Bangladesh 17 runs short of the target in the first meeting between the teams at the Junction Oval.
Ritu Moni’s first four-wicket haul was not enough to steer Bangladesh to a historic victory in Group A, with her 4/18 the best figures of the tournament so far.
They battled in the modest chase but were dismissed for 74 with the White Ferns’ effort the lowest score to ever be successfully defended in the competition.
Bangladesh kept things tight before Rachel Priest found her feet to steer New Zealand to 33 without loss after they chose to bat.
Captain Salma Khatun stepped in to halt the flow by removing her opposite number Sophie Devine for 12. And the skipper was in a merciless mood as she trapped Priest lbw for 25.
Suzie Bates helped New Zealand find a rhythm but she soon fell when bowled by Ritu for 15.
Bangladesh’s bowling brilliance continued as Maddy Green was stumped by Nigar Sultana Joty off Rumana Ahmed before they claimed their second scalp in as many balls when Jensen was run out backing up.
The pressure continued to mount as Katey Martin perished for six when caught at point by Fahima Khatun off Ritu.
Anna Petersen then fell when Fargana Hoque Pinky ran in from long-on to take a stunning diving catch off Ritu, while an impressive take from Fahima stopped Amelia Kerr (5) from saving the day. Ritu ended her stint with the first four-wicket haul Bangladesh have taken in the World Cup and Rumana took her second when Kasperek was stumped for two.
It was only fitting that Salma would be there to polish the innings, trapping Lea Tahuhu lbw as New Zealand lost their eight wickets for just 25 runs.
It was only the third time the White Ferns had been kept under 100 runs at a World Cup but it was clear they weren’t going to go down without a fight as Jensen (three for 11) and Kasperek (three for 23) made amends.
Bangladesh soon had batting woes of their own, Kasperek dealing with Murshida Khatun (11) while Ayasha Rahman was caught by Devine at mid-off off Jensen.
Held at 32/3 at the midway point, Bangladesh’s eagerness to lower the required rate proved costly as Fargana Hoque and Ritu Moni were both run-out in a comfortable fashion.
Jensen took her second scalp when she trapped Rumana lbw for one before Bates caught Sobhana Mostaray for seven at mid-on off Devine.
Jahanara Alam was the seventh to depart when she was bowled by spinner Kerr before Jensen took her third scalp in the same manner against Fahima.
Salma could only manage four before she was bowled by Kasperek, who claimed her third against Nigar Sultana (21) in the final over to seal the win.
The win for New Zealand means Group A is perfectly set-up for a final showdown, with a Trans-Tasman match on Monday seeing them face Australia, with the winner set to reach the semi-finals.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 91 all out (Rachel Priest 25; Ritu Moni 4/18, Salma Khatun 3/7); Bangladesh 74 all out (Nigar Sultana Joty 21; Hayley Jensen 3/11, Leigh Kasperek 3/23)
Feb 29 (IANS)