Bangladesh women’s cricket team lost an easy chance of grabbing country’s first gold medal in the 17th Asian Games when they lost to Pakistan by four runs in the final in Incheon on Friday. Some mindless batting in the last two overs saw the Bangladesh team collapsed from a firm position to be restricted to 38-9 chasing a target of 43 runs in seven overs in a rain-hit match at the Yeonhui Cricket Ground.
Bangladesh seemed coasting when they reached 29 for two wickets in the first four overs before Pakistan made a stunning comeback and claimed another seven wickets in the last three overs to break their hearts.
Bangladesh team required seven runs from last six balls with four wickets in hand, but they somehow managed to spurn the chance to settle for silver.
Their silver is, however, Bangladesh’s first medal in the 17th edition of the meet.
Asked to bowl first Bangladesh’s bowlers did a commendable job to restrict Pakistan to 97-7 as they made regular breakthroughs to deny them any momentum.
The defending champions rode on double-digit figures of Bismah Maroof (24), Nain Abidi (18), Marina Iqbal (14), Sana Mir (10) and Nida Dar (10) to set up the target for Bangladesh.
On a slow and low pitch, Pakistan struck just three boundaries and two of them came in the last three overs which underlined Bangladesh’s bowling success.
Bangladesh’s innings was delayed by nearly two hours as heavy downpour threatened to ruin the match. However, rain was quickly squeezed by the super modern drainage system available at the venue in just 15 minutes.
It created a chance for the Bangladesh team to make amend for the last Asian Games final that they lost to the same opponent at China.
Bangladesh looked close to seizing the opportunity as opener Ayasha Rahman struck a superb four over the midwicket in the first over and eventually along with her partner Rumana Ahmed managed to get the most from the first over of the two-over power play putting 10 runs on the board.
But the momentum was stalled for a while as Ayasha was needlessly run out by Rumana and despite making a valiant attempt, the bespectacled opener also fell in the same manner after making the highest 10 runs featuring a reverse-sweep boundary.
Pakistan skipper Sana Meer gave the ball to Sadia Yusuf and she responded in style by picking up wickets which included experienced Salma Khatun.
What followed next was simply madness as Bangladesh lost five more wickets to add just five runs to the total to suffer the heart-breaking defeat.
-With New Age input