Bangladesh women cricketers failed to hold their nerves and lost the first of three-match Twenty20 series against their South African counterparts by 17 runs at Diamond Oval, Kimberley on Thursday.
Chasing a target of 128 runs, a 72-run third wicket stand between skipper Rumana Ahmed and Fargana Hoque guided Bangladesh close to the victory but their lower middle-orders failed to take the side to the winning line as they were held to 110-5 in the stipulated overs.
Earlier, South Africa faced similar late collapse after their openers Lizelle Lee (46) and Laura Wolvaardt (30) gave
them a solid 77-run opening stand.
Khadija Tul Kubra (3-23) and skipper Rumana (2-19) shared five wickets as South Africa were reduced to 86-5, losing their five wickets for just nine runs before being restricted to 127-6.
Sune Luus made an unbeaten 28 off 23 balls to take their side to a modest total.
After losing the openers early in the chase, Rumana and Fargana put up a superb effort to make the equation - 42 runs off 27 balls but Protea pacer Shabnim Ismail (3-19) dismissed Rumana (36 off 41) and Nigar Sultana for a duck in the same over to take the hosts back in the contest.
Fargana was soon dismissed after scoring 35 off 37 deliveries and Protea bowlers were successful to provide an excellent death over bowling to restrict Bangladesh before reaching the target.
Fahima Khatun and Panna Ghosh remained unbeaten on 12 and eight respectively.
The women’s team will face the hosts in the second Twenty20 international on Saturday at Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein.
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