Nepal out of Qualifier raceNepal’s World Cup aspirations took a nose dive after they crashed to a one-wicket defeat at the hands of Thailand in a crucial match of the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifying Series for Asia Region here on Friday.
Nepal’s World Cup aspirations took a nose dive after they crashed to a one-wicket defeat at the hands of Thailand in a crucial match of the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifying Series for Asia Region here on Friday.
Needing a win to stay alive for the Global Qualifier, Nepal had their eyebrows raised after posting their tournament-high 108-4 in 20 overs. Nepal sniffed a huge victory after reducing Thailand to 62-7 in 11.4 overs but No 7 batswoman Chanida Sutthiruang held firm to lead her team to 109-9 in 18.4 overs.
The result, with one match remaining in the double round robin league, saw Nepal pushed to the pit-bottom with four points from five games. Thailand, meanwhile, entered the 2017 Qualifiers with eight points. China, Hong Kong and Nepal have four points each with the latter eyeing a spot in the Women’s Asia Cup winning their last league game.
Nepal will take on China in their final league game, while Hong Kong will be up against Thailand. Only the winners of the tournament were assured a place in the Global Qualifier. “Our next target will be to qualify for the Asia Cup,” said Nepal coach Raju Basnyat.
Thailand got off to a rollicking start in their chase when skipper Rubina Chhetri was hit for 19 runs in the first over with the first ball going for a six. Basnyat believed the six unsettled Nepal. “Our girls came under pressure after conceding an unexpected six. The game was well within our grasp in the middle stages but due to lack of exposure, we failed to capitalise on them,” the coach added.
Thailand had already added 29 runs from the first three overs before Nirmala Shahi sent back Nattkan Chantam, who set the tone with an 11-ball 23 that also included three boundaries. Thailand were 50-up at the end of seven overs before a successful over from Karuna Bhandari turned the match on its head.
Bhandari picked up three wickets in the eighth over as Thailand suffered a mini collapse losing six wickets for 12 runs. But Sutthiruang defied Nepal with a match-winning 34-run stand for eighth wicket with Wongpaka Liengprasert (11) taking Thailand close to victory. Player-of-the-match Sutthiruang made an unbeaten 27 from 25 balls with two fours and a six.
Opener Sirintra Saengsakaorat also contributed 18-ball 16 to the team total. Bhandari ended up with the figures of 4-15 from four overs, while Sita Rana Magar and Chhetri picked up two wickets each. Chhetri was hit for 34 runs in 3.4 overs.
Nepal didn’t have best game with the bat in their four previous games but they came up as a good batting unit despite losing opener Roshani Bohora (two) with just five runs on the board. Another opener Jyoti Pandey (13) and Nirmala Shahi added 33 runs for the second wicket before both fell in a space of 10 runs.
Shahi made a run-a-ball 20 with two hits to the fence. Nary Thapa and Indu Verma then added 33 runs for the fourth wicket before the former was dismissed for 36-ball 26 with three boundaries.
Thapa kept playing with aggression and forged an unbroken 27-run stand with Chhetri (10 not out). Thapa made 25-ball 32 with three fours, while both players hit a six each.