Match Report – BAN-W vs AUS-W 1st T20I, March 31, 2024

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Australia 127 for 0 (Healy 65*, Mooney 55*) beat Bangladesh 126 for 4 (Nigar Sultana 63*, Molineux 2-25) by ten wickets

Tayla Vlaeminck celebrated her return to international cricket with a wicket with her third ball, as Australia thrashed Bangladesh by ten wickets in their series-opening T20I in Dhaka.

Playing her first game for Australia since January 2022, Vlaeminck beat Sobhana Mostary with her speed to hit the batter’s stumps. She finished with 1 for 30 as Australia kept Bangladesh to 126 for 4, before chasing the target down without loss and with seven overs to spare.

Vlaeminck, the fastest female bowler in Australia, suffered two anterior cruciate ligament ruptures and a shoulder dislocation before her 21st birthday. That came before her most recent extended break, when stress fractures in her foot and a shoulder dislocation required more than two years of recovery.

She admitted before the Bangladesh tour that she at one stage privately questioned why officials had kept faith in her. But on Sunday afternoon, she answered it herself. Vlaeminck bowled with speed in her first match on the subcontinent, piercing through Mostary’s defences as the No. 3 attempted to play back. Vlaeminck’s return helped push her case for selection for the World Cup later this year, also in Bangladesh.

Fellow Victorian Sophie Molineux also did her case no harm. After a ruptured ACL destroyed her 2023, she had Dilara Akter caught with the first ball of the match. She also bowled Fahima Khatun in the final over of the innings, finishing with 2 for 25.

Bangladesh owed their final total of 126 to captain Nigar Sultana, who scored exactly half the runs, remaining unbeaten on 63 from 64 balls after walking out at No. 4 in the second over.

In reply, Alyssa Healy (65 not out in 42 balls) and Beth Mooney (55 not out in 36 balls) made light work of the chase.

Healy smashed nine fours and a six in a dominant innings, raising fifty in 34 balls. Mooney also hit nine boundaries as she too brought up a 34-ball fifty, with the pair taking Australia to their fourth ten-wicket win in T20 history.

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