Bangladesh 149 for 2 (Murshida 62*, Nigar 34*) beat South Africa 136 for 8 (Bosch 67, Brits 30, Shorna 5-28) by 13 runs
Sixteen-year-old Shorna Akther added a glorious chapter in Bangladesh Women’s cricket as they stunned South Africa in the first T20I in Benoni. Defending 149, the legspin-bowling allrounder picked up her maiden five-for to trigger a middle-order collapse in the last five overs as South Africa slipped from 123 for 3 to 136 for 8. This is only the second instance of Bangladesh outplaying South Africa in the 12 T20Is they have faced each other in. South Africa had won the last 10 in a row.South Africa were in the game for the most part of the chase, thanks to Anneke Bosch. She usually comes in at No. 3, but was promoted to open with Tazmin Brits in the absence of regular opener and newly-appointed captain Laura Wolvaardt, who had to miss the opening game because of the WBBL final on Saturday. Bosch struck a quick 67 off 49 balls and shared a brisk 69-run stand with Brits, who scored 30 off 26 balls.South Africa needed 41 off the last 24 balls with Bosch still batting and seven wickets in hand but the pendulum swung Bangladesh’s way in the 18th over when Shorna struck twice; she first dismissed Bosch and then had Nondumiso Shangase stumped by Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana in a two-run over. South Africa now needed 26 off the last 12 balls.
In the following over, Nahida Akter got rid of debutant Eliz-mari Marx and also gave away just two runs. An equation of 24 in six balls was always going to be a tall ask for the lower order and it turned out to be so as Shorna added two more wickets in the final over to finish with 5 for 28.
Earlier, Murshida Khatun’s unbeaten 62 and Nigar’s quickfire 34 off 21 not out lifted Bangladesh to a competitive total after they opted to bat. The duo scored 45 runs in the final four overs which eventually proved a lot for South Africa.
With Shamima Sultana getting dismissed for a run-a-ball 24 and Sobhana Mostary for a 17-ball 16, Bangladesh needed someone to up the ante and Nigar stepped up to the challenge. Her knock consisted of six fours while Murshida, who played an anchor’s role, hit six fours and a six in her 59-ball innings.
The inexperience in South Africa’s bowling unit – Marizanne Kapp was rested, fast bowler Ayabonga Khaka and allrounders Chloe Tryon and Nadine de Klerk were injured – was exposed by Bangladesh as only Marx impressed with 4-0-25-1 and no bowled leaked at under six runs an over.
The final two T20Is will be played in Kimberley on December 6 and 8 before the three-match ODI series begins on December 16 in East London.