On 22 July, 2023, Bangladesh and India shared the ODI championship title as the decisive third match of the series culminated in a thrilling tie in Mirpur. The gripping finale unfolded with India needing just one run from the last four balls. However, the match took a dramatic twist when Marufa Akter managed to get No. 11 Meghna Singh caught behind, leaving Jemimah Rodrigues stranded after her pivotal contribution of 33 runs off 45 balls in the latter part of the chase.
The match’s foundation was laid by Fargana Hoque’s impressive knock of 107 runs, marking the first century by a Bangladesh batter in Women’s ODIs. Her performance significantly bolstered the host team’s innings, resulting in their second-highest total in the ODI format.
India’s pursuit of the 226-run target progressed steadily, reaching 191 for 4 in the 42nd over of their chase. However, a pivotal moment transformed the game’s course. Harleen Deol, who had been performing well with a score of 77 – her personal best in ODIs, attempted a run that wasn’t there, leading to her run-out. Fahima Khatun’s swift fielding and accurate throw to Nigar Sultana resulted in Deol being caught short of her crease, sparking a collapse. India lost six wickets for 34 runs, ultimately being bowled out for 225, resulting in a 1-1 tie in the three-match series.
Although tied ODIs usually prompt a Super Over, this option wasn’t exercised due to the fact that the extra time allotted for the tie-breaker had already expired by the end of the 99.3 overs in the match.
Nigar’s agile effort to run out Deol served as a redemption of sorts for the Bangladesh wicketkeeper, who had earlier missed a chance to dismiss Smriti Mandhana during the chase.
The talented fast bowler Marufa’s opening delivery was executed with precision – a well-angled length ball outside off. Although Mandhana attempted a slash, she edged the ball. However, Nigar couldn’t hold onto the catch, diving to her left.
Mandhana capitalized on this opportunity and went on to score 59 runs off 85 balls, forming a crucial partnership of 107 runs with Deol for the third wicket.
Bangladesh made their mark early, with Marufa’s outstanding catch dismissing Shafali Verma, who had replaced Priya Punia. The swift fielder initially stretched her right hand to intercept an uppish drive, but after the ball popped out, she dived full-length to her right to complete the catch. Additionally, Sultana Khatun’s dismissal of Yastika Bhatia reduced India to 32 for 2 in the fifth over.
Deol’s entry at No. 4 yielded positive results as she capitalized on Marufa’s width to execute powerful shots. Mandhana and Deol both achieved half-centuries off 74 and 72 balls respectively. However, Fahima’s deceptive bounce led to Mandhana’s dismissal.
Harmanpreet Kaur contributed 14 runs before exiting the field in a dramatic manner, expressing her dissatisfaction with the umpire’s decision. The nature of her dismissal – whether lbw or caught at slip – was initially unclear.
Following Deol’s run-out, subsequent wickets tumbled, with Nahida taking two crucial wickets in three balls. Despite the setbacks, Rodrigues held her end, but Marufa secured the final wicket after briefly leaving the field due to an ankle concern caused by a 30-minute rain delay. The victory prompted cheers from the crowd at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.