Australia W vs Bangladesh W: Beth Mooney of Australia lauded the “crafty” Bangladeshi onslaught, led by the Salma Khatun. This came as Khatun threatened to pull off an improbable shock over Australia in the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 match on Friday, March 25.
Losing six wickets, Bangladesh had managed to set a target of a paltry 136 runs, which seemingly was an easily achievable target for the table-topper Australians. However, the former Bangladesh captain, Salma Khatun, went all out to inflict enough damage to their batting line-up to make the task a challenge.
“She was super impressive today,” Mooney said about Khatun. “Obviously, she took three poles upfront, so whenever someone new came out, I sort of just said she was the main threat that we had to nullify.”
Khatun played a primary role in wiping out Australia’s top-order, including Alyssa Healy (15), Meg Lanning (0), and Rachael Haynes (7), returning figures of 9-0-3-23. Khatun started alongside medium-pacer Jahanara Alam. She had Healy caught at a deep square leg first. Then Lanning was bowled for an eight-ball duck, and Haynes holed out to mid-off during her seven-over opening performance. The top-order collapse reduced Australia to 26 for 3 in 9.2 overs.
“She’s a crafty spinner, got a lot of changes and can really settle on a length which is probably what we let her do a little bit today – settle on us a little bit more than we would normally, with that wind playing a factor as well,” Mooney said. “She’s extremely crafty. And she bowled really well today, so it’s no surprise to me that she’s been a very successful player for Bangladesh.”
While wickets continued to fall around her, second-drop Mooney seized control of the opposing attack with the calm demeanour that has underpinned her numerous rescue efforts for Australia. Mooney hit an unbeaten 66 to help her team recover from a dangerous 70 for 5 in their pursuit of 136 in a shortened 43-overs-a-side match. Ashleigh Gardner added another 26 runs and remained unbeaten to complete the run-chase successfully.
Even though Australia managed to avert defeat, she admitted that the methodical approach of offspinner Khatun and the other Bangladeshi spinners made batting difficult for the renowned Australian lineup in Wellington’s windswept Basin Reserve. However, despite Khatun’s exploits, in the end, the Meg Lanning-led outfit managed to win the game within 33 overs.