Women’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier: Nepal, UAE, Thailand, and Hong Kong continue unbeaten run

An eventful third day of action at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier saw hosts Malaysia register their first win of the tournament.

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Thailand Women's Team. (Photo Source: Twitter/ACC)
Nepal, UAE, Thailand, and Hong Kong continued their unbeaten run in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier with wins over Bhutan, Qatar, China, and Kuwait respectively.

An eventful third day of action at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier saw hosts Malaysia register their first win of the tournament, beating Bahrain by 46 runs. Their win was powered by Mas Elysa’s run-a-ball 54 not out. 

Elsewhere in Group A, UAE beat Qatar by 51 runs and Nepal snuck home by three wickets against a spirited Bhutan who fought valiantly defending a target of 40. Hong Kong bowled out Kuwait for 26 in a comprehensive win and Thailand chased down a target of 36 with 12 overs to spare against China. Kuwait face off against Thailand tomorrow and need to win to stay in contention for the semi-finals. 

Malaysia vs Bahrain

After electing to bowl first, Bahrain dominated the first half of Malaysia’s innings, reducing them to 43 for four in the tenth over. Pavithra Shetty was arguably the pick of the bowlers, bowling Mahirah Izzati for 10 before taking a catch to dismiss Intan Jamahidaya. 

Walking in at number six, Aina Najwa chipped in with a career-best score of 20 not out. Yet, it was Mas Elysa who assumed the aggressor’s role, running hard during her half-century and maintaining a low dot ball percentage. She had to wait until the 16th over of the innings before a sweep shot off Deepika Rasangika allowed her to pick up her first and only boundary of the day. The pair put on 65 to propel Malaysia to 108 for four in their 20 overs.

Bahrain’s chances of chasing down the target were always going to rest heavily on the shoulder of Rasangika. After Ainna Hamizah dismissed Tharanga Gajanayake in the third over of the game, Rasangika walked to the crease and started her innings with a pull shot and lofted drive for four. 

Yet, Aisya Eleesa and Arianna Natasya would combine to take five wickets to break the back of Bahrain’s chase. Izzati struck gold in the 14th over, bowling Rasangika for 34 to reduce the opposition to 60 for eight. Bahrain could only manage another two more runs, getting bowled out in the 17th over. 

Brief Scores:

Malaysia 108/4 in 20 Overs (Mas Elysa 54*, Najwa 20*, Shetty 1-18) beat Bahrain 62/10 in 16.4 Overs (Rasangika 34, Eleesa 3-21, Natasya 2-12) by 46 Runs 

UAE vs Qatar

Electing to bat first, UAE scored an insurmountable 114 against Qatar, who could only manage a total of 63 for eight in reply. 

Opening bowler Hiral Agarwal started strongly, bowling Lavanya Keny for 6 in the third over. Esha Oza and Kavisha Egodage stabilized the innings with a 56-run stand, which came at quicker than a run-a-ball. The latter began her innings by cutting Agarwal away for four before Oza clipped Angeline Mare away for two boundaries on the leg side. 

Attempting to go aerial against Sabeeja Panayan, Oza holed out to deep mid-wicket before captain Aysha took a smart return catch to send Theertha Satish packing, restricting the UAE to 71 for three in the 14th over. Qatar, to their credit, only conceded two more boundaries in the rest of the innings.

Chasing 115 for victory, however, was always going to be tough. Mare was the only batter who made it into double figures, scoring two boundaries in her 11. In spite of suffering a 51-run loss, Qatar was able to bat out their overs against one of the strongest sides in the tournament.  

Brief Scores:

UAE 114/5 in 20 Overs (Egodage 40, Oza 31, Aysha 3-18) beat Qatar 63/8 in 20 Overs (Mare 11, Oza 2-7, Vaishnave Mahesh 2-22) by 51 Runs

Nepal vs Bhutan

It was a bowler’s morning in Bangi as Nepal capitalized on their decision to bowl first, restricting Bhutan to 39 for eight in their 20 overs. In reply, Nepal struggled, taking more than 13 overs to chase down their target, losing seven wickets in the process. 

Kabita Kunwar got the ball rolling, bowling Ngawang Choden off the first ball of the game. Karma Dema struggled to get going, scoring just one run in 27 balls, eventually getting bowled by leg-spinner Khushi Dangol. 

Puja Mahato then stepped up to the plate, running out Yeshey Choden in the tenth over before taking a trio of quick wickets, including Anju Gurung and Sonam, both of whom had their timber disturbed by the right-arm seamer. Bhutan skipper Dechen Wangmo was the only batter to make an impression, scoring 21 before she hit Mahato into the hands of Kabita Kunwar to leave her team struggling at 26 for five in the 14th over. 

Bhutan could not score another boundary for the rest of the innings, setting Nepal a seemingly comfortable target of 40. 

Anju Gurung struck in the first over of the chase, bowling Kunwar for a duck before Sita Rana Magar worked Anjuli Ghalley away on the leg side for four. Ghalley would come back strongly, disturbing Rana Magar’s timber before getting Indu Barma caught by Wangmo. Samjhana Khadka was Ghalley’s next victim, missing a straight one as her side was reduced to 16 for five in the sixth over. 

Kabita Joshi and Rubina Chhetry then came together for a 15-run partnership before Joshi was dismissed by Tshering Zangmo who also had Mahato caught by Gurung for 3. 

With Nepal needing three runs to win with as many wickets remaining, skipper Chhetry advanced down the track to Wangmo and swung her into the leg side to seal a tense chase. 

Brief Scores:

Nepal 41/7 in 13.2 Overs (Chhetry 12*, Ghalley 3-12, Zangmo 2-4) beat Bhutan 39/8 in 20 Overs (Wangmo 21, Mahato 3-6, Dangol 1-5) by 3 Wickets 

Kuwait vs Hong Kong

Hong Kong skipper Kary Chan took her second career-five wicket haul, conceding just four runs in the process to break her own record for best Women’s T20I bowling figures for Hong Kong. Her record-breaking feat helped bowl Kuwait out for 26 before Hong Kong eased to the target in the sixth over.

Off-spinner Betty Chan started the rout by bowling Priyada Murali for 2 in the second over. Kuwaiti skipper Amna Sharif was her next victim, getting caught by Kary Chan in the infield. Zeefa Jilani was bowled by Mariko Hill before wicket-keeper Yasmin Daswani ran out Maryam Omar to reduce Kuwait to 15 for four in the seventh over. 

Daswani would continue to feature prominently, taking a pair of sharp catches off her skipper’s bowling to dismiss Shanti Balasubramaniam and Suchitha Lita. Kuwait could neither manage a boundary in their innings nor put together any noteworthy partnerships, setting Hong Kong a simple target of 27. 

In spite of losing Mariko Hill and Natasha Miles in the first five overs of their chase, Yaz Daswani and Marina Lamplough guided Hong Kong home in the next over, ending unbeaten on 8 and 3, respectively.

Brief Scores:

Hong Kong 27/2 in 5.3 Overs (Miles 10, Daswani 8*, Amna Sharif 1-2) beat Kuwait 26/10 in 12.2 Overs (Balasubramaniam 5, Kary Chan 5-4) by 8 Wickets 

Thailand vs China

Thailand made similarly light work of China, bowling them out for 35 in less than 13 overs. Phannita Maya was the pick of the bowlers, picking up 3-10, including opener Yue Chen who hit two boundaries in her knock of 11 before she was bowled by the Thai seamer. Maya would also go on to bowl Xiuli Jin before trapping Lili Zheng in front to leave China reeling at 20 for seven. After Thipatcha Putthawong trapped Rongyu Zhao in front and bowled Mengting Liu, the score line would slide further to 20 for nine. Yuanyuan Cai hit three fours in her unbeaten 14, which contributed to a 15-run stand for the final wicket. 

Yet, a target of 36 did not test Thailand who romped home in just eight overs. 

Brief Scores:

Thailand 36/1 in 8 Overs (Nannapat Khonchoroenkai 13*, Natthakan Chantham 11*, Qian Xu 1-20) beat China 35/10 in 12.3 Overs (Yuanyuan Cai 14*, Maya 3-10) by 9 Wickets 

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