Kuala Lumpur : Indian women faced abject humiliation after Bangladesh beat the six-time champions by three wickets to win their maiden Asia Cup trophy here on Sunday.
The tournament turned out to be the most embarrassing for the ‘Women in Blue’ as they lost to the minnows twice inside a week. The tournament also raised a big question mark about the utility of two veterans Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami in the shortest format even as the BCCI is forced to carry on with them due to lack of credible replacements.
Needing two off the last delivery of the match, Jahanara Alam hit rival skipper Harmanpreet Kaur towards deep mid-wicket and scampered home for a double to chase down a modest target of 113. For India, it was Harmanpreet (56 off 42 balls, 2-19) and leg-spinner Poonam Yadav (4-9), who put up a semblance of fight as a below-par batting effort once again became their undoing.
India skipper Harmanpreet agreed that the batters let the team down. “It was a pressure game and we have to control our nerves. We had to bat according to the situation. The batswomen did not handle the nerves. There was not much in the wicket. Credit goes to Bangladesh. They were excellent today in all departments of the game,” Harmanpreet, who was adjudged Player of the Tournament, said. “The wicket was holding up slightly but our spinners did a good job. It was not a decent total but we still fought till the end. So credit goes to our bowlers.”
There was an Indian hand in Bangladesh’s memorable victory as there have been coached by former India opener Anju Jain, who has played with Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami for a considerable period. She knows the weaknesses and strengths of the Indian team and her input must have helped the ‘Tigresses’.
Bangladesh skipper Salma Khatun decided to field and none of the Indian batters save Harmapreet (seven boundaries) looked comfortable against the Bangladesh attack. Had it not been for Harmanpreet’s innings, India who had slumped to 62 for 5, would have been shot out for less than 100.
India 112-9 in 20 overs (H Kaur 56, K Kubra 2-23, R Ahmed 2-22) lost to Bangladesh 113-7 in 20 overs (N Sultana 27, R Ahmed 23, P Yadav 4-9, H Kaur 2-19) by three wickets.