‘Now people will recognize us,’ says Nigar Sultana after sharing an ODI series with India.

'Now people will recognise us' - Nigar Sultana pleased after sharing ODI series against India

Fargana Hoque, the country’s first ODI century-maker, admits to panicking in the 1990s but says she was inspired by the greatest men’s hitters.

'Now people will recognize us,' says Nigar Sultana after sharing an ODI series with India.
Nigar Sultana and Fargana Hoque were the best of Bangladesh’s batters in the series.

Nigar Sultana believes that the 1-1 tie in the ODI series against India will elevate the Bangladesh women’s team in their own country.

“We are quite happy with the overall outcome,” Nigar said after the third and final game in Dhaka finished in a stalemate. “We would have been overjoyed if we had won the series. “I believe we have made significant progress. Many people at home had no idea who played for Bangladesh. People will now recognize Nahida [Akter], Fargana Hoque [Pinky],, and Marufa [Akter]. This, in and of itself, is an accomplishment, in my opinion. It was also great of the Cricket Board to say kind things about us. They came to see our games. The audience backed us up. We are being promoted by the media.”

Nigar singled out Fargana, who became the first Bangladeshi woman to score a century in women’s one-day internationals. “We batted extremely well.” “It was a big plus,” Nigar added. “Pinky Apu batted brilliantly.” Supported one end. We were unable to bat the complete 50 overs in the previous game, so that was our goal for today.”

Fargana played at No. 3 in the first two ODIs but was moved to open the batting in the final game, as head coach Hashan Tillakaratne had told her the night before. She rewarded the faith by scoring 107, the first ODI century by a Bangladeshi woman, and earning the first Player-of-the-Series title for a female Bangladeshi in ODIs.

“I always bat at the top of the order.” “I played at No. 3, but the head coach told me yesterday that I needed to mentally prepare to open the inning,” Fargana said. “I went to the wicket with a positive attitude.” I was able to acclimate to the swing. I had faith in myself. We have four or five batters that can put up big numbers. When playing against larger teams, you must be extremely skilled. I had faith in my abilities and my process.

“I wanted to build on my strong start.” We’re seeing results slowly, so we’ll keep doing what we’re doing. I loved how I tried to bat long, and it paid off. My batting isn’t without flaws; therefore, I’d like to improve even more in the future.”

Were there any nerves back then?

“At this level, I hadn’t scored a hundred, but I saw people getting centuries.” I watched Mushfiq [Mushfiqur Rahim] bhai get a perfect score. I recently witnessed [Najmul Hasan] Shanto bhai score two hundreds. “I observed how they spent their time in the middle,” she explained. “I wasn’t thinking about scoring a hundred here, but I was thinking about batting every ball on its merit.”

'Now people will recognize us,' says Nigar Sultana after sharing an ODI series with India.
Fargana Hoque finished with 107 as Bangladesh posted a good total.

“I panicked a little when I got to 96.” I practiced a couple deliveries. But I convinced myself that in order to be a good batter, I needed to bat till the end. When I got out on 47 in the last game, my pals were disappointed. I tried to stick to the method, which contributed to my high score.”

Nigar said that her team should have bowled better to conclude the game sooner, but she was pleased with how it ended, with India moving from 160 for 3 (and then 191 for 5) to 225 all out.

“I think we could have won the game if we had bowled better,” said Nigar. “It wouldn’t have gotten this far back then.” We recovered nicely from a terrible power play with the ball. I believe we overcame some of the mistakes we made in the second game. We should have wrapped up this series in the second game. This series has taught us a lot of things that we can apply in the future.

“There can’t be anything more encouraging than performing well against a top opponent.” This performance has given us confidence. We’re heading into the break in good spirits. We didn’t lose because we tied the game. Everyone benefits from it.”


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