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Nigar dedicated the record victory to brave freedom fighters and martyrs

Bangladesh had hoped for a magnificent outcome on Victory Day after amassing a formidable collection of 250 runs in their One Day International history. With a strong bowling department, cricket enthusiasts in Bangladesh were expecting a fantastic result on the night of victory.

And it all unfolded in East London’s Buffalo Park as Bangladesh outplayed South Africa by 131 runs, claiming a memorable victory at 119 runs. This win stands as Bangladesh’s highest-ever run collection and surpasses their previous best against Iceland at 82 runs a century ago in the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

With this win, Bangladesh has taken the lead in the three-match ODI series 1-0. The next match on Wednesday at the Post Stadium will determine the series winner.

On the night of victory, the Bangladesh captain commemorated this special win by dedicating it to the freedom fighters and martyrs of the Liberation War. Starting the batting after losing the toss, Bangladesh had a remarkable start courtesy of Farzana Haque and Shamima Sultana, who scored 66 runs in the opening partnership. Leading from there, Murshida Khatun’s unbeaten 91-run innings, partnered with Nigar Sultana and Suraiya Azmin, created a significant partnership trio. This record-breaking collection stands tall in Bangladesh’s ODI history. Unfortunately, the bowlers couldn’t quite match the performance of the batters.

Nigar believes that losing the toss turned out to be a blessing for her team, saying, “Losing the toss has worked well for us till the end. If we had won the toss, I would have chosen to field first.”

This match aside, Bangladesh’s women’s team has performed admirably in ODIs recently. They drew against a strong Indian team in Mirpur last July and clinched a series win against Pakistan at the same venue last month. Now, they’ve secured their first victory on South African soil in this edition. Nigar attributed this to the team’s hard work and belief, saying, “We’ve been working hard for a long time. Confidence has grown within the team, and the team management has also put in a lot of work. We were expecting a good result, and when expectations are met, it feels really good.”

This series against South Africa falls under the ICC Women’s Championship’s third cycle. Bangladesh’s direct qualification for the 2025 World Cup depends on their position on the points table. With the win yesterday, Bangladesh has moved above Sri Lanka in the points table. However, India and the top five teams will directly play in the 2025 World Cup. To secure a spot, Bangladesh needs to climb further in the points table.

If Bangladesh can dominate South Africa, they have a chance to reach the top two spots even with a 2-1 series win. Nigar’s focus is on the two points now, saying, “These two points are crucial. The upcoming matches are even more important for both teams. We don’t want anyone to go to the qualification round.”

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