Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022: Ayabonga Khaka’s four-for helps South Africa beat Bangladesh in opener

Women's Cricket World Cup 2022: Ayabonga Khaka's four-for helps South Africa beat Bangladesh in opener

Ayabonga Khaka’s superb bowling helped South Africa defeat Bangladesh in their opening match of the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.

Batted in Dunedin, the Proteas were grouped for a sub-par 207 with Marizanne Kapp (42) and hard-hitting Chloe Tryon (39) taking them to a competitive total.

Bangladesh got off to a steady start, reaching 69 for one before Khaka let go and cut them to 85 for four.

Ayabonga Khaka of South Africa plays during the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup match between Bangladesh and South Africa. Image: ICC Media

A late flurry from Nigar Sultana and Ritu Moni came too late as they scored 175 as South Africa won by 32 points in Dunedin.

Sune Luus’ side have felt the absence of Lizelle Lee in a difficult start to their seventh World Cup campaign, with Bangladesh excelling from the start in a fearless display.

Teenager Fariha Trisna should have dismissed Tazmin Brits with her second World Cup ball, only to see Nahida Akter overturn a cart from a mid-term catch.

Jahanara Alam’s experience and Trisna’s youth created a pleasant new ball partnership and it took the British 19 balls to clear the mark when she lifted the latter for four during half-time.

Brits, a former world junior javelin champion, never got off the ground and turned to Rumana at midwicket, going eight-30-to-one.

Wolvaardt and Lara Goodall steadied the ship with the powerful opener taking advantage of the introduction of rotation, carving up Salma Khatun’s second ball four points adrift.

Despite Khatun’s odd loose delivery, including a half-tracker Wolvaardt sent in, the score wasn’t smooth as South Africa reached 67 for one from 20 overs.

Moni’s tenacious, medium-paced precision was rewarded with Wolvaardt’s big wicket as she chipped the ball away through her defences, being returned for 41 from 52 balls.

One brought two for Bangladesh as Khatun induced Goodall into an untimely reverse sweep that Rumana Ahmed pocketed to his left, making it 69 for three.

Mignon du Preez initially took a liking to Rumana’s looping leg spin, but tapped a simple catch back towards the bowler as his side sank even deeper.

The experienced pair of Kapp and Luus took control with three bounds off Nahida Akter but were separated when Rumana deflected a Kapp drive to the stumps with Luus short of his floor.

It was left to Tryon to breathe life into a failing set and an 80-yard six from Rumana in the 38th was not a bad way to start.

Both Tryon and Kapp crossed the boundary in a brilliant 71-better-than-run-a-ball position, with Tryon beating Khatun long for a mighty max.

The 28-year-old looked to be getting big again but was caught midway through for 39, heralding a flurry of late wickets. The bottom four were down 14 runs in five overs as South Africa calmed down.

The Proteas went for the first wickets with aggressive lines and lengths but met stoic resistance from Bangladesh.

Wolvaardt had a tough chance to get Sharmin Akhter in fifth, but could only tip her over the bar and nearly took one that fell inches from her a few balls later.

It was as good as it gets for South Africa in their quest to stop the rookies’ momentum and Kapp let out a cry of frustration when Sharmin took the lead for four through the slides.

Sharmin and Shamima Sultana were cautious at first but flirted with danger, taking a very ill-advised single in the 14th, saved only by hesitation from the point of coverage to throw.

They took two fours from Luus over the top before the drinks break, taken 59-0, with Sultana then dropped to the slip and escaping another possibility of exhaustion.

Khaka made the breakthrough beating Sultana’s drive and beating her for 27-69 to one.

She twisted the knife with two in an over, first forcing Sharmin (34) to sneak behind and two balls later Murshida Khatun guided another edge towards Trisha Chetty.

A poor run between the wickets was finally punished when Fargana Hoque was exhausted for eight years and the brilliant Khaka raised his century when Rumana nicked Chetty.

Bangladesh didn’t want to fade away and Nigar Sultana and Moni built a half-century stand, the latter’s shot offering more than a belated glimmer of hope.

That hope faded when Moni was beaten by Ismail for an excellent 27 and two more wickets saw Bangladesh finish with 175 all out.

Scores in a nutshell

South Africa beat Bangladesh at University Oval, Dunedin by 32 points.

South Africa 207 all out in 49.5 overs (Marizanne Kapp 42, Laura Wolvaardt 41; Fariha Trisna 3/35, Jahanara Alam 2/28)

Bangladesh 175 all out in 49.3 overs (Sharmin Akhter 34, Nigar Sultana 29; Ayabonga Khaka 4/32, Masabata Klaas 2/36)

Player of the match: Ayabonga Khaka (South Africa)

Article published from the ICC press release

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