Women's Cricket: Bangladesh, Malaysia win their matches in ICC Commonwealth Games Qualifier 2022
Kuala Lumpur, January 24, 2022
Bangladesh’s spinners helped their team beat Scotland by nine wickets for their third consecutive win before Malaysia recorded a memorable five-wicket victory over Kenya in the ICC Commonwealth Games Qualifier 2022 at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
With Sri Lanka already having won three matches, the last match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on Monday will decide the winners of the five-team tournament, being played to decide the one remaining slot in this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The line-up for Birmingham will be confirmed in due course, after the Commonwealth Games Federation of the winning country formally accepts the slot. Australia, Barbados, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa are the seven teams already confirmed for the Games.
Bangladesh vs Scotland
An unbeaten partnership of 78 runs for the second wicket between Murshida Khatun (50 off 35 balls) and Fargana Hoque (20 of 36) led Bangladesh to victory after they bowled Scotland out for 77 in 17.3 overs.
After Scotland won the toss and chose to bat, Abbi Aitken-Drummon chipped a full toss back to Suraya Azmim in her follow through before the Bangladesh seamer dismissed Kathryn Bryce in her next over to leave Scotland reeling at 12 for two in the fourth over.
Katie McGill then joined opener Sarah Bryce at the crease, and the two stitched together a 38-run partnership, which featured a flurry of boundaries scored in front of square on both the leg side and the off side.
However, with the score on 50, Nahida Akter bowled Katie McGill with an arm ball, which sparked a collapse that saw Scotland lose their last eight wickets for 37 runs. Lorna Jack was next to go, suffering an identical fate to her predecessor before Sarah Bryce skied a catch to a gleeful Shanjida Akter in the circle.
Scotland never recovered, getting bowled out for 77 with 2.3 overs to spare in their allotment of 20.
In reply, Bangladesh lost a wicket off their very first delivery when Shamima Sultana poked at a Kathryn Bryce delivery, edging it through to keeper Sarah Bryce.
Fargana Hoque then joined left-handed opener Murshida Khatun at the crease and the two blunted Scotland’s advances to get through to 22 for one at the end of the Powerplay.
Feeling more secure at this point, Murshida Khatun started to play away from her body, picking up a boundary to third man to go with a few singles. In the eighth over, she drove Katherine through the covers for two boundaries, as Fargana Hoque held strong at the other end.
As Murshida approached her first-ever T2OI fifty, Hoque let her farm the strike. The left-hander carted Kathryn Bryce for six to reach 49 before nudging a single away to register her half-century and deliver a win for Bangladesh with 4.4 overs to spare.
Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana was impressed with her team’s all-round display.
“After Scotland built a partnership, we didn’t panic. We were strict with our own plan. We knew we could break the partnership,” she said.
Player-of-the-match Murshida revealed her simple game plan after Bangladesh lost a wicket of the first ball of their chase. “Until the end, don’t lose my wicket,” she said.
Scotland captain Kathryn Bryce backed her team’s newfound aggressive approach despite the loss.
“With the way we are starting to be more aggressive with the bat, days like today will happen, but we are building towards a positive future,” she said.
Malaysia vs Kenya
Off-spinning all-rounder Mas Elysa stole the show with figures of two for 19 and a quick-fire 37 (26) to help Malaysia chase down 89 with five wickets and 10 balls to spare against Kenya.
Earlier in the day, Kenya won the toss and chose to bat. In the first over, opener Queentor Abel was dismissed for a duck by an inswinger from Malaysian skipper Winifred Duraisingam.
Malaysia’s bowlers kept things tight as Kenya was unable to score any boundaries in the Powerplay. Mary Mwangi broke the shackles by whipping Nur Zulaika away for four in the seventh over before Margaret Ngoche was caught by Shasa Azmi off the bowling of Arianna Natasya to leave Kenya at 24 for two after eight overs.
Mas Elysa was then introduced into the attack getting Mwangi stumped before Sarah Bhakita hit one back to Elysa, which ricocheted off her fingers an into the hands of Duraisingam at mid-off.
Kenya, to their credit, did not collapse and continued to rotate the strike, scoring 27 runs in their final five overs to post a score of 87 for six.
In reply, Queentor Abel had Duraisingam stumped for a duck in the first over. Wan Julia was run out in the next over when Mas Elysa called her through for a run that wasn’t there. Despite Malaysia struggling at nine for two, Mas Elysa was undeterred.
She punished Kenya’s bowlers whenever they bowled too straight or drifted down leg and was equally viscous with her off side game. Needing a wicket, Kenyan skipper Margaret Ngoche turned Mercyline Ochieng. The seamer responded by nipping a ball back into Mas Elysa, which the right-hander could only chop onto her stumps to leave Malaysia at 53 for three in 9.2 overs.
The runs dried up in the next few overs before Ainna Hamizah was bowled around her legs by Sarah Bhakita. With 30 runs required in the last seven overs, Kenya had a glimmer of hope.
However, Intan Jaafar had other ideas. She swept Queentor Abel down to fine leg for four before a late cut beat a diving short third man to race away for another boundary.
Malaysia lost Jaafar when she hit Flavia Odhiambo to Ngoche at backward point. However, this would only prove to be a minor speed bump for Malaysia as Arianna Natasya and Nur Zulaika knocked off the remaining runs to deliver a historic win for Malaysia.
Malaysia’s fielders ran onto the field once they got the winning runs. Captain Winifred Duraisingam explained the significance of this victory to her and her team.
“After this great win, I feel a lot is going to happen and cricket in Malaysia is going to go to another level,” she said.
Player-of-the-match Elysa spoke about her aggressive despite Malaysia losing early wickets in their chase.
“Still wanted to play in an aggressive and attacking mode and I wanted to rotate the strike.
Bangladesh beat Scotland by nine wickets. Scotland 77 All Out in 17.3 Overs; Bangladesh 78/1 in 15.2 Overs
Player of the Match: Murshida Khatun
Malaysia beat Kenya by five wickets. Kenya 88/6 in 20 Overs; Malaysia 89/5 in 18.2 Overs
Player of the Match: Mas Elysa