Bangladesh women 211 for 9 (Fargana 67, Murshida 44, Rumana 31, Bismah 2-24, Syeda 2-37) beat Pakistan women 210 (Nahida 63, Aliya 36, Bismah 34, Rumana 3-35, Salma 2-36) by one wicket
Bangladesh women fought off an almighty comeback from Pakistan women to seal a thrilling one-wicket win and square the two-match ODI series at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Monday. The visitors won by one wicket with one ball to spare, but for a few fleeting moments, it looked like they had thrown away what was an impregnable position just half an hour before the frantic finish.
Fargana Hoque anchored the chase of 211, a target similar to what Bangladesh had fallen short of in the first ODI. With 25 needed to win from the final eight overs and six wickets in hand, the victory appeared a formality, before Hoque's departure triggered a collapse, and the panic in the Bangladesh camp almost cost them the series.
In the next 6.3 overs, five wickets were lost and just 18 runs were added to the score, leaving No. 9 Jahanara Alam and No. 11 Nahida Akhtar at the crease. But the pair had just about enough time to inch their way to the target, getting there on the penultimate delivery.
Pakistan opener Nahida Khan scored 63 to set up the hosts' innings earlier, but after her, there were far too many starts that went unconverted. Bangladesh allrounder Rumana Ahmed made regular inroads, stalling their momentum just when a partnership built. The innings was marked by sloppiness too; four run outs in the lower order meant that the hosts wouldn't bat out their 50 overs, finishing on 210 with ten balls left.
Those unplayed deliveries proved costly in the end, but it appeared a minor detail when Bangladesh's top order was clicking. Diana Baig and Sana Mir struck early, but that was followed by a commanding 82-run partnership between Fargana and opener Murshida Khatun, and when Bismah Mahroof dismissed Murshida, another 57-run partnership took Bangladesh within touching distance. It might have then appeared a stroll to the finish line, but Pakistan made sure the visitors would be forced to crawl towards it, gasping for air.
Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000