Bangladesh leg-spinner Fahima Khatun emerged as the first player to register a T20I hat-trick as her side made it through to the semi-final of the Women’s World T20I Qualifiers after finishing top in their group. The Tigresses’ bowlers maintained their dominance in the multi-nation tournament and this time around, boosted the side to an eight-wicket victory over the United Arab Emirates in their last Group A match in Utrecht, Netherlands Tuesday.
Bangladesh will now face Scotland in the second semi-final at the same venue Thursday. The Tigresses had come into the tournament registering a convincing win against their Scottish counterparts in a warm-up game.
Bangladesh won the toss for the third time in the tournament and asked the opponent to bat first. The women in red and green produced a situation similar to the earlier matches, but this time even better. Fahima emerged as the first Bangladeshi to bag an international hat-trick and finished the game with four wickets as Bangladesh restricted the UAE to just 39 runs.
Only one UAE batter, opener Esha Rohit (18), reached double digit while the others were cramped into submission through tight Bangladeshi bowling. UAE lost their first wicket in the seventh over with 16 runs on the board and Bangladesh made excellent use of the breakthrough.
UAE were in the 30s when leggie Fahima came to the attack and made history. The 25-year old removed Udeni Dona, Esha and Kavisha Egodage in the fourth, fifth and the sixth deliveries of the over to complete her treble. UAE failed to recover from the debacle as they lost three more wickets in the next over – one from a run out while the other two were hunted down by spinner Rumana Ahmed.
Fahima took four wickets and conceded just eight runs in her stipulated four overs. Rumana and left-arm spinner Nahida Akter bagged two wickets each.
Later, the Tigresses cruised to victory losing just two wickets. Bangladesh lost opener Ayasha Rahman (two) in the fourth over and Sanjida Islam for 15 in the seventh over of the chase. Opener Nigar Sultana carried on through the innings and was not out on 21 off 22 with three boundaries.
Bangladesh started making big headlines when they won the Asia Cup last month, defeating six-time champion India. The Tigresses carried their good run to the three-match T20I series against Ireland in Ireland earlier this month winning it 2-1 and are now once again grabbing attention in the Women’s World T20I Qualifiers in the Netherlands. The side won all the three matches in Group A and are marching strong towards their ambition of qualifying for the tournament proper, to be held in the West Indies later this year.
Bangladesh women 40/2 in 6.5 overs (Nigar 21*, Sanjida 15) beat United Arab Emirates women 39 in 16.2 overs (Fahima 4/8, Nahida 2/2) by eight wickets