Sports

Dejavu as Nepal’s hoodoo continues

- ADARSHA DHAKAL, Kathmandu

Feb 22, 2019-

Nepal’s hoodoo against Thailand in women’s cricket continued as they succumbed to a 57-run defeat to the hosts in the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Asia Region Qualifier in Bangkok on Thursday.

In what could now be a potential blow to the hopes of competing in the Global Qualifiers of the 2020 ICC Twenty20 World Cup and 2021 50-over World Cup, winning all remaining matches of the tournament might not suffice to go through. Only the winners after the round robin league are guaranteed berth for the Global Qualifiers.

With Thailand proving themselves as the elites of the game, the qualification seems a far-fetched dream for every other team. Electing to bat first at the Asian Institute of Technology Ground, Thailand’s top and middle order lifted the team to 124-7 in 20 overs. It was a dejavu for Nepal who were hit for 121-1 in last month’s Women’s Twenty20 Smash final — also in Thailand — and then came back with the ball to fold them for just 51 in 17.2 overs.

Nepal did salvage some pride this time around by picking up more wickets but against a tough team with a vast amount of experience could only muster 67-8 in 20 overs. Nepal have not managed to defeat Thailand in the senior women’s cricket for the last 10 years. The last time they defeated Thailand was a 55-run victory in the 2007 ACC Women’s Twenty20 Championship — a tournament from where both nations began their journey in women’s international cricket.

Nepal coach Binod Das said his side was outplayed. “We were outplayed by a better team. We needed to be at our best with both bat and ball but never got the desired start with both. Thailand were consistent and that is one area where we need to get better,” Das told the Post from Bangkok after the defeat.

Thailand took an edge in their defense after removing openers Kajol Shrestha (one) and Roma Thapa (one) along with skipper Rubina Chhetri (three) to reduce them to 8-3 in 4.2 overs.  Indu Barma and Sita Rana Magar — batting down the order — saved Nepal’s blushes with a 46-run stand for the fourth wicket as Thailand bowlers continued to strangulate Nepali batting.

Barma top scored for Nepal with a 44-ball 29 and Rana Magar scored 18 off 34. Both batswomen hit a boundary each. Sornarin Tippoch took 2-12 from four overs for Thailand.

Earlier, Naruemol Chaiwai gave Thailand a solid start adding 37 runs for the opening wicket with Nattakan Chantam (five). Nepal struck with the dismissals of both the openers beginning by Karuna Bhandari’s scalp of Chaiwai who scored 27-ball 32 with three boundaries. Nattaya Boochatham (12) and Chhanida Sutthiruang stayed for a while before Nary Thapa got rid of the former as Thailand’s score read 63-3 in 12 overs.

Nepal, however, failed to make the most of that situation as Sutthiruang and Wongpaka Liengprasert got involved in a match-defining 32-run fourth wicket stand. Sutthiruang was the highest contributor for the Thais making a 29-ball 35 with three boundaries. Liengprasert provided the required lift scoring a 27-ball 28 with one hit to the fence.

Kabita Kunwar and Thapa took two wickets each for Nepal who will now take on the United Arab Emirates in their third match on Friday. Nepal had begun the tournament with a 34-run victory over Malaysia on Tuesday.

Summary

Thailand 124-7 in 20 overs (C Sutthiruang 35, N Chaiwai 32; N Thapa 2-15, K Kunwar 2-28) beat Nepal 67-8 in 20 overs (I Barman 29, SR Magar 18; S Tippoch 2-12, N Boochatham 1-6) by 57 runs

Player-of-the-match: C Sutthiruang (Thailand)

Published: 22-02-2019 09:29

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