Sylhet (Bangladesh), Oct 1 (IANS): Leg-spinner Rumana Ahmed ripped through Thailand's middle order with three wickets while Shamima Sultana hit a 30-ball 49 to help Bangladesh register a nine-wicket win in their first match of Women's Asia Cup at the Sylhet Outer Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
The defending champions made great use of the pitch offering low turn and keeping low bounce to bowl out Thailand for just 82 in 19.4 overs. Then, on the back of Shamima's efforts, they were able to chase down the total inside 12 overs, with 50 balls remaining.
In Thailand's paltry total, Phannita Maya was the pick of the batters with a 22-ball 26 laced with three boundaries. She looked to take a positive approach from the word go and tried to take on the bowlers as well.
But she got little support from the other end as Nattakan Chantam could only make 20 while Sornnarin Tippoch and Rosenan Kanoh made 11 and 10 respectively to be the only four batters from Thailand to reach double-figure mark.
Bangladesh's strategy to make life tough for Thailand through spin was well seen from them giving only two overs of pace and using rest of 18 overs through their spinners. Apart from Rumana's 3/9 in three overs, Salma Khatun (1/18), Nahida Akter (2/11), Sanjida Akter Meghla (2/11) and Shohely Akhter (2/18) played their part well through spin to bowl out Thailand for a score below 100.
The great work done by the spinners meant Bangladesh had no issues in the small chase, especially with Shamima's quickfire 49 off 30 balls. In her knock laced with ten fours, she gave the hosts the start they needed and left Thailand badly deflated.
Though she fell in the ninth over, her opening partner Fargana Hoque was unbeaten on 26 off 29 balls, helped by two fours and a six, while captain Nigar Sultana used her feet well to muscle a six down the ground to finish off the chase in style with 10 not out.
Brief Scores: Thailand 82 all out in 19.4 overs (Phannita Maya 26, Nattakan Chantam 20; Rumana Ahmed 3/9, Sanjida Akter Meghla 2/11) lost to Bangladesh 88/1 in 11.4 overs (Shamima Sultana 49, Fargana Hoque 26 not out; Thipatcha Putthawong 1/23) by nine wickets.