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'It's definitely part of history' - Nigar Sultana hails 'huge achievement' by Bangladesh

Bangladesh captain and coach praise Marufa Akter for her early strikes with the ball

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Nigar Sultana and Fargana Hoque had a useful partnership, Bangladesh vs India, 1st women's ODI, Dhaka, July 16, 2023

Nigar Sultana and Fargana Hoque had a useful partnership  •  BCB

Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana has hailed her team after they secured their first win over India in ODI cricket. After scoring 152 in a rain-hit game, Bangladesh rolled India over for 113 in Mirpur.
Bangladesh and India face each other more frequently in T20I cricket, but since their first ODI against India in 2013, they had lost all five ODIs against them until Sunday. This was also Bangladesh's first ODI win since they beat Pakistan in the Women's World Cup in March 2022.
"We are very happy winning an ODI after a long time," Nigar said. "It is a huge achievement for the team. It will help us play much better in the future. We have defeated India after a long time. Plus, it happened in Mirpur. It is definitely part of history. We want to create a little more history."
Marufa Akter had set up the victory by removing both Smriti Mandhana and Priya Puniya in the powerplay. Marufa went onto dismiss Amanjot Kaur and Sneh Rana as well.
"We wanted to take early wickets," Nigar said. "They are dependent on their batting department. The coach told us that we should look for wickets in the Powerplay. It will keep them under pressure. Smriti [Mandhana] and Harmanpreet [Kaur] are their key batters. When we got them out, the rest of their batters couldn't quite do the job. But I think we could have bowled better to bowl them out for a cheaper score.
"Marufa bowls well with the new ball and later in the middle overs. She doesn't think about her bowling too much. She wants to bowl to the team's requirement. She backs her own strength. It helps us. Batters have struggled against her natural inswing with the new ball."
Nigar said that she brought Marufa back into the attack in the 29th over when coach Hashan Tillakaratne sent her a message for the bowling change. Deepti Sharma and Amanjot Kaur had added 30 runs for the sixth wicket after the visitors were reduced to 61 for 5. Marufa responded by dismissing both Amanjot and No. 8 Rana off successive deliveries.
Tillakaratne noted that the spinners couldn't break the partnership, so he wanted to shake things up by bringing back Marufa. "She is one of the top bowlers in the world right now," he said. "Also the batters were handling the spinners very well, so we want to break the momentum. That's one of the reasons we wanted to bowl Marufa."
Tillakaratne, however, wasn't pleased with Bangladesh's total and called for a better performance from his batting line-up. "We were looking at least a 200-plus score because the wicket was keeping low," he said. "There's no demons on the wicket. The wicket played really well. Unfortunately, our batters faltered and were short by 50-60 runs.
"I think there are a few loose ends that we need to tighten up before the second one. So, we'll have a discussion tomorrow, and we'll come back strongly for the second and third one."
Nigar, meanwhile, urged her team to hold off any big celebrations and focus on achieving more in this series. "The girls were quite excited but I told them our job isn't done yet," she said. "Doing well raises our responsibilities. There are more expectations on us now.
"We know that if we continue to play better cricket, we will take another step towards a bigger achievement. So I have kept them calmed down from a big celebration."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84