Jahanara Alam, who scored the winning runs off the last ball (over bowled by India captain Harmanpreet Kaur) in the recently concluded Asia Cup says she loves to play in tight situation.
On Sunday Bangladesh needed two runs off the last ball to win the Asia Cup final and the number 8 batsman could snatch the victory even though her team lost two wickets in successive deliveries just prior to the last ball.
Speaking exclusively from her hotel room late on Sunday night, she said, “I love challenges. Even in domestic cricket I have played in such situation and that helped me to score runs”. “In fact I wanted to hit a boundary over bowler’s head off the last ball but could not hit the shot so strong but managed to run only two”. Jahanara, who was born on All Fools Day (April 1) 25 years ago, never tries to fool on this day. “I am a Muslim girl, praying five times a day. Fooling others is not in my blood”.
She however, recalls the incident happened on her birthday four years ago. “In my mind on that day (April 1, 2014) I had decided to grab the wicket off my first ball in the Women’s World T-20 match (against Sri Lanka at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium) and Allah was kind enough to grab this on my birthday”. Sri Lankan opener Hasini Perera was her first ball victim in the match. Jahanara attributes Asia Cup win to the team work. “Beating India twice in the same week was not easy. We were really working hard for this day”, she added.
“Our men’s team won the ICC Champions Trophy qualifier (against Kenya) in 1997 at the same venue and now we have won the Asia Cup, so the history is repeated”. “Yes, I had spoken to my mother for two minutes, and she had tears of joy”, she further added.
Bangladesh women’s team had a late-night party and dinner (arranged by the BCB officials and team management) at the hotel. It was attended by the High Commissioner. Members of the Bangladesh team were scheduled to leave for Bangladesh on Monday and have been given few days off for the Eid holidays.
Bangladeshi team’s Indian support staff, coach (Anju Jain), Assistant coach (Devika Palshikar) and physio (Anuja Dalvi) were set to return on Monday.