Murshida Khatun's unbeaten 62* followed by Shorna Akter's match-defining five-wicket haul helped Bangladesh Women’s team register a historic win on Sunday. Bangladesh emerged victorious in defeating South Africa at their own home for the first time in Women's T20I and second time overall.
The Proteas finished as the runners-up in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup hosted by them earlier this year -- their first final appearance in the tournament's history.
Only 16 years of age, Shorna bowled Bangladesh to a significant win over the hosts with her career-best figures in the opening game of the three-match T20I series. With only 149 runs to defend, Shorna managed to pull things back in Bangladesh's favour by taking out the Proteas middle-order as they crumbled from 123/3 to 136/8.
South Africa's opening partnership looked threatening as they scored 54 runs within the powerplay. With the run rate just below seven and all wickets in hand, the match looked in South Africa's palm.
Soon, the hosts lost their first wicket. Tazmin Brits, the stand-in skipper, perished to Rabeya Khan as she holed out down the ground. Immediately in the next over, Annerie Dercksen was dismissed.
Anneke Bosch held her end as she scored a gritty 67 off 49 balls but Shorna's third over of her spell turned the match on its head with Bosch's and Nondumiso Shangase's wicket when Proteas needed 28 off 18 balls.
A brilliant penultimate over from Nahida Akter brought the equation further down to 24 off 6 balls. Shorna then went on to wrap up the match with two more wickets in the final over, finishing with figures of 4-0-28-5.
Earlier, Bangladesh got off the blocks at a steady pace with Khatun anchoring the innings with 62* off 59 balls as South Africa kept the scoring rate in check.
It was Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana whose attacking knock of 34 in 21 balls helped the visitors to a competitive total of 149/2. The two teams will face each other in the second T20I on 6 December in Kimberley.