HAMILTON - History has been made at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup as Bangladesh picked up their first victory in the tournament’s history with a thrilling nine-run triumph over Pakistan in Hamilton on Monday.

It was a performance full of passion and class as the quickly-developing Bangladesh side successfully defended their score of 234/7 with a brilliant display of tight spin bowling. At one stage it looked like Bangladesh’s winning hopes were dashed, with opener Sidra Ameen (104) scoring at will and on her way to Pakistan’s first century in Women’s World Cup history and the usually reliable skipper Bismah Maroof at the other end controlling the tempo of the chase.

The pair had catapulted Pakistan within sight of victory, needing a further 80 runs with nine wickets remaining and ample time still to bat. But the game turned on its head courtesy of Fahima Khatun (3/38) and Rumana Ahmed (2/29), as Pakistan lost five wickets for just five runs to go from chocolates to boiled lollies in an instant.

There was still hope while Ameen was at the crease, but when she was run out in the 48th over the celebrations began for the exciting Bangladesh team. The victory sees Bangladesh keep their semi-finals hopes alive, while Pakistan’s chances look forlorn as they languish at the bottom of the standings and without a win through four matches.

Earlier, an excellent half-century from Fargana Hoque helped Bangladesh to their highest total at a Women’s World Cup and also their biggest ever in an ODI contest. Hoque paced Bangladesh through the crucial middle overs with 71 from 115 balls, while skipper Nigar Sultana (46) and opener Sharmin Akhter (44) also made valuable contributions after Maroof won the toss and elected to bowl first. Pakistan bowled well at times, with their spinners particularly impressive and left-armer Nashra Sundhu the pick of those slow bowlers with figures of 3/45. Akhter and Shamima Sultana (17) provided Bangladesh with a solid start as they put on 37 for the opening wicket and it wasn’t until spinner Nida Dar (1/45) was introduced to the attack that the initial breakthrough was made.

Scores in brief

BANGLADESH WOMEN 234 for 7 (Hoque 71, Nigar 46, Akhter 44, Sandhu 3-41) beat PAKISTAN WOMEN 225 for 9 (Ameen 104, Nahida 43, Fahima 3-38, Rumana 2-29) by nine runs.