I ran for my life

Jahanara Alam | Published at 10:33pm on May 22, 2020

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Jahanara Alam

Whenever I revisit the day we won the Asia Cup, it gives me goosebumps. I never imagined that I would take the winning run which will earn Bangladesh women’s team its first international trophy.

The tournament started like a nightmare. We lost our first match to Sri Lanka in a very poor manner. After that we had a match against Pakistan. We put up a hard fight and won the match which injected some confidence in the team. Next match was against India.

I should say, in the group match against India, we showed our best. We were chasing 141 runs, which was way above our par. But winning that match by seven wickets gave us a huge boost.

We then beat Thailand and Malaysia convincingly. In the final, we met India again. We were confident but nervous at the same time as they were well experienced in handling pressure situation.

Batting first they could not score much [112-9] as we bowled very well. I picked the wicket of Deepti Sharma and took the catch of Harmanpreet Kaur.

To chase the total, we made a change in our batting order. The game plan was to not drop the run rate. So those who can score quick, they were given a chance to bat up in the order.

Rumana was playing brilliantly, so when I went to the middle I thought my job will be to support her. But she was unfortunately run out while taking a double. That pushed me to the striking end, in the very last ball of the match where we needed two runs.

The message from the dressing room and from my partner Salma [Khatun] was only to hit the ball. I assured her that I will hit the ball, you be ready to run for two.

I tried to distract Harmanpreet, who was bowling the final over, by stopping her once before the delivery. Maybe the trick worked. She bowled one down the leg side. I pushed the ball and ran for my life! While taking the second run I dived and my bat slipped from my grip. When I stood up, I saw all my teammates running towards me and in a flash I was on their shoulders!

When I got down from their shoulders, I went to look for a stump to keep it as souvenir. Then suddenly I realised I don’t have my bat! I began searching for it as a crowd started gathering around me. I finally found it lying on the ground.

In 1997 in Malaysia, Bangladesh won the ICC trophy which laid the foundation of cricket in our country. I hope, by winning the Asia cup in the same country, we also laid a founding stone for women’s cricket in Bangladesh.

Samiur Rahman writes the interview