Salma Khatun claimed 3-18 with her wily off-spin as Bangladesh defended 113-5 effortlessly to beat Thailand by 11 runs in the second semifinal of the T20 World Cup Qualifier tournament at Abu Dhabi on Friday night.
The victory confirmed their place in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa. Given their performance and the strength of the other teams, the result was expected but Bangladesh's ultimate goal is to be champions in the Qualifying tournament.
Bangladesh first played in the T20 World Cup in 2014. They played that edition directly as the hosts of the event. However later for the next three times in 2015, 2018 and 2109 they had to play the tournament by overcoming the Qualifiers. In 2015, they though became runners-up, last two times, they were champions of the Qualifiers.
Bangladesh Women's team this time got Ireland in the final, which will be held on Sunday at Abu Dhabi. The Irish girls confirmed their ticket for the T20 World Cup, beating Zimbabwe by four runs in the first semifinal. "We came here to qualify for the T20 World Cup, and we did it. We have been playing together for so many years, this is our time to show the world how good we are, how much we have improved as a side," Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana Joty said.
"There are a lot of experienced and talented players in our side, and we need to show the kind of potential we have. It was a little disappointing that we could not do well in batting today. But I was confident about my bowling side, and I am happy at the way we handled the pressure."
Being sent to bat first in the crucial game, Bangladesh put up just 113-5 but a strong bowling performance saw then defend the total.
Rumana Ahmed was the highest run-getter for the side with 28 not out off 24, which included two fours and one six. Her fluent batting towards the end overs, helped Bangladesh propel past 100 runs mark.
Opener Murshida Khatun scored 26 off 35 while Ritu Moni hit 17 off 10.
Rosena Kanoh, Phannita Maya and Onnicha Kamchomphu took one wicket apiece for Thailand.
The Thai Women's team was restricted to 102-6 with Natthakan Chantham battling lonely with 51 ball-64,that designed with four fours and three sixes.
Sanjida Akhter Meghla snapped up 2-7 and Nahida Akater picked up 1-25 to complement Salma's three-for.