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ICC Women's World Cup: South Africa unconvincing in win against Bangladesh

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Dunedin, March 5 (IANS) Veteran South African medium-pacer Ayabonga Khaka took four wickets for just 32 runs as they defeated Bangladesh Women by 32 runs in an ICC Women’s World Cup match at the University Oval here on Saturday.

Electing to bowl after winning the toss, Bangladesh did well to restrict the Proteas to 207 in 49.5 overs, but in a game dominated by bowlers, Sune Luus’ side earned full points by bundling out the opponents for 175 with three balls to spare.

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Marizanne Kapp (42) and the hard-hitting Chloe Tryon (39) lifted last edition’s semifinalists to a fighting but below-par 207 before Ayabonga Khaka, who was declared ‘Player of the Match’ came up with match-winning figures of 10-3-32-4 to earn her team a hard-fought win.

Bangladesh made a steady start, reaching 69 for one before Khaka let rip and reduced them to 85/4. A late flurry from Nigar Sultana and Ritu Moni came too late as they managed only 175, and fell way short.

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Earlier, Luus’s side felt the absence of Lizelle Lee in a wobbly start to their seventh World Cup campaign, with Bangladesh excelling from the start in a fearless display. Teenager Fariha Trisna should have dismissed Tazmin Brits with her second World Cup ball, only to watch Nahida Akter spill a sitter at mid-on.

Jahanara Alam’s experience and Trisna’s youth made for a pleasing new-ball partnership and it took Brits 19 balls to get off the mark when she lifted the latter for four over mid-on.

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Brits, a former world junior javelin champion, never got off the ground and flicked to Rumana at midwicket, departing for eight at 30 for one. Wolvaardt and Lara Goodall steadied the innings with the powerful opener profiting from the introduction of spin, slicing Salma Khatun’s second ball for four behind point.

Despite the odd loose delivery from Khatun, including a half-tracker that Wolvaardt dispatched, scoring wasn’t fluent as South Africa reached 67 for one from 20 overs. Medium-pacer Moni’s nagging accuracy was rewarded with the big wicket of Wolvaardt as she drew the ball back through her defences, dismissed for 41 from 52 balls.

One brought two for Bangladesh as Khatun induced Goodall into a mistimed reverse sweep that Rumana Ahmed pouched down to her left, making it 69 for three. Mignon du Preez initially took a liking to Rumana’s flighted leg spin but gave a simple return catch back to the bowler as her side sunk still further.

The experienced pair of Kapp and Luus took control with three boundaries off Nahida Akter but were separated when Rumana deflected a Kapp drive back onto the stumps with Luus short of her ground.

It was left to Tryon to inject some late life into a faltering innings and a huge six off Rumana in the 38th over wasn’t a bad way to start, according to ICC.

The Proteas went in search of early wickets but were met with resistance from Bangladesh. Wolvaardt got a hand to a tough chance to get Sharmin Akhter in the fifth over but could only tip it over the bar and nearly took one that fell inches short of her a few balls later.

That was as good as it got for South Africa in their quest to halt the debutants’ momentum and Kapp looked frustrated when Sharmin edged for four through the slips.

Sharmin and Shamima Sultana took two fours off skipper Luus the over before the drinks break, taken at 59-0, with Sultana then dropped at slip and escaping another possible run out.

Khaka made the breakthrough by beating Sultana’s drive and bowling her for 27 at 69 for one. Two balls later, Murshida Khatun guided another edge to Trisha Chetty.

Fargana Hoque was then run out for eight and the brilliant Khaka brought up her 100th WODI wicket Rumana nicked to Chetty.

Nigar Sultana and Moni then built a half-century stand, the latter’s stroke-making offering more than a glimmer of late hope. That hope faded out when Moni was bowled by Ismail for an excellent 27 and two further wickets saw Bangladesh finish on 175 all out.

Brief scores: South Africa 207 in 49.5 overs (Marizanne Kapp 42, Laura Wolvaardt 41; Fariha Trisna 3/35, Jahanara Alam 2/28) beat Bangladesh 175 in 49.3 overs (Sharmin Akhter 34, Nigar Sultana 29; Ayabonga Khaka 4/32, Masabata Klaas 2/36) by 32 runs.

–IANS

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