Bangladesh women's cricket team were excellent in all departments during their three-wicket win over six-time champions India in the Asia Cup T20 final on Sunday, according to losing captain Harmanpreet Kaur.
Salma Khatun-led Bangladesh stunned Asian powerhouses India to win their maiden continental title at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The eighth-ranked women's team outclassed Kaur's side in all three departments in their first-ever major tournament final.
Bangladesh came out all guns blazing on Sunday as they restricted India to a below-par total of 112 before gunning down the total in a last-over thriller.
Spinners reigned supreme on a humid day at the Kinara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur. While star all-rounder Rumana Ahmed and Khadija Kubra picked up two wickets each, Nahida Aker and skipper Khatun pegged India back with their miserly opening spells.
Batters didn't handle nerves: Kaur
Notably, Bangladesh clinched their first-ever win against fourth-ranked India only last week by comfortably chasing down a 143-run target. It was also the six-time champions' only defeat in the group stages of the tournament.
"Credit goes to Bangladesh for their performance in all departments. They were excellent," Kaur, who was named the Player of the tournament, said during the post-match presentation ceremony.
She added: "It was a pressure game, and we had to control our nerves. We had to bat the situation and play to our skills. The batsmen didn't handle nerves too well.
"There was hold on the wicket, and there were very few areas for the medium pacers. But the spinners did a good job for us. It was not a decent total, but we fought till the end so the credit goes to the bowlers."
Kaur hit a 42-ball 56 in an otherwise insipid batting display from the Indians. Openers Smriti Mandhana and Mithali Raj struggled to get the scoreboard ticking against spinners, Aker and Khatun.
Mandhana was handed a reprieve early on when the Bangladesh wicketkeeper missed a stumping opportunity. However, the Indian opener failed to make use of the opportunity as she was dismissed for 7.
Kaur waged a lone battle as he never had any support from the other end. Notably, the second-best score for India on Sunday was 11.
Rumana stars for Bangladesh yet again
On the contrary, Bangladesh top-order clicked as a unit in a tricky chase of 113. Openers Shamima Sultana and Ayasha Rahman stitched a handy 35-run stand in quick time.
Rumana starred yet again with the bat as she hit a quickfire 23 while Nigar Sultana slammed 27 from just 24 balls.
Indian leg-spinner Poonam Yadav was at her best, picking up for wickets for just nine runs but she lacked support on the big day.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh skipper Khatun said the team drew confidence from their convincing win over India in the group stages.
"We are very happy that we have won the Asia Cup. I can't explain in words how big the words. We had confidence after the first India match, and we had to come through today because it was the final and we are happy we came through.
"They [India] had a lot to lose and we didn't. We had a lot to gain, and we have managed to do that."