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Women's Cricket

16-year-old spinner Shorna Akter takes five-for to inspire Bangladesh to historic win over South Africa

Shorna Akter in action during the U19 World Cup earlier this year
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Bangladesh’s 16-year-old spinner Shorna Akter took 5-28 as Bangladesh beat South Africa by 13 runs, their first women’s T20I win against them since 2012.

The result was Bangladesh’s first victory over South Africa in South Africa and it was built upon a first innings score of 149-2. Opener Murshida Khatun carried her bat for 64 not out – her first T20I half-century against a Full Member opposition – while captain Nigar Sultana provided late innings impetus with an unbeaten 21-ball 34.

Despite a 69-run opening stand between Tamzin Brits and Anneke Bosch, South Africa were always behind the rate in the run chase. This was largely down to an exceptional spell from Akter who claimed five wickets, all of which came in the final five overs of the South Africa innings.


Akter’s five-for was Bangladesh’s fifth in women’s T20I cricket and the first by a 16-year-old in a T20I between two Full Member nations.

Akter was part of the Bangladesh Under-19 World Cup side that only just missed out on a semi-final place behind Australia and India on Net Run Rate earlier this year.

They provided arguably the story of the competition by beating Australia in the tournament opener. On that day Akter hit 23 not out in the successful Bangladesh run chase. The venue for that game was Benoni in South Africa, the same ground as where they beat South Africa today (December 3).

Akter was named in the team of the tournament; she finished as her side’s leading run-scorer and actually only took one wicket across the Under-19 World Cup.

So far in her senior international career, however, Akter has made more of an impression with the ball than that bat, taking 13 wickets across both white-ball formats while only scoring 144 runs from 14 outings with the bat.

The next South Africa women vs Bangladesh women T20I is on December 6 in Kimberley.

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