Thailand and the UAE put up strong all-round performances to not only maintain a high net run rate but also to remain unbeaten in the ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier. Earlier in the day, hosts Malaysia defeated Qatar for their first win of the tournament.
Malaysian captain Elsa Hunter’s important 42 off 38 balls, combined with her team’s tight fielding and economical periods, helped the hosts to a 28-run triumph over Qatar, who could only manage 88/3 when chasing 116.
Qatar got off to a good start with the ball after winning the toss and deciding to bowl. Sarrinah Siddiqui bowled Nurr Rahman and Dhanusri Muhunan for ducks in the second over. She returned to collect Nur Abedul Samad’s wicket in the sixth over, reducing Malaysia to 30-4.
Hunter, on the other hand, batted patiently in a 36-run sixth-wicket stand with Musfirah Azmi, scoring 42 off 38 balls with six boundaries. Azmi ensured her side finished with 115-7 after her removal in the 16th over, scoring four boundaries in an unbeaten innings of 24. Tafaul El Nour and Hiya Ladani each took two wickets.
Qatar’s openers, captain Saachi Dhadwaal and Shruti Rana, batted conservatively to put up a 51-run first-wicket partnership. The Qatar batters lost impetus after they were both run-out two overs apart, with Azmi involved in both dismissals, and their pursuit eventually fizzled out at 88-3 in 20 overs.
“We were losing wickets in the first round, but we battled back,” Elsa Hunter, Player of the Match, said after the game. The girls had put in a lot of effort leading up to this tournament, and their victory was well-deserved.”
Nepal was skittled out for 8 in 8.1 overs by UAE left-arm seamer Mahika Gaur, before the openers knocked off the target in seven balls to remain unblemished in the tournament.
Nepal were reduced to 2 for 5 after winning the toss and electing to bat. Three of the top five hitters failed to get off the mark.
Anjali Bishowkarma and Kiran Kunwar were the first two wickets to fall, both to Indhuja Nandakumar and Mahika Gaur. Alisha Yadav was the last to retire, caught off Samaira Dharnidharka, as the duo split eight wickets between them.
In response, UAE openers Theertha Satish and Lavanya Keny scored 8 from Anu Kadayat’s first over before a single off Shristi Jaisi helped them to a massive victory with 113 balls and ten wickets to spare.
“It felt wonderful,” Mahika Gaur, player of the match, said of contributing to her team’s tremendous triumph. I am overjoyed to have played a part in the victory, and I am confident that we will all carry that confidence into the next match. It’s a terrific feeling to get my first five-wicket haul.”
Thailand’s defence of 182-3, which included Banthida Leephatthana’s unbroken 73 and Nanthita Boonsukham’s 3-19, was crucial in limiting Bhutan to 52-8.
Thai openers Nannaphat Chaihan and Leephatthana put up a 69-run partnership for the first wicket after winning the toss and electing to bat. They blasted 11 boundaries between them until the former was caught by Sonam in the sixth over.
Thipatcha Putthawong, Thailand’s captain, was removed in the ninth over by Chado Om, but a 78-run third-wicket stand between Leephatthana and Phannita Maya, who hit a 29-ball 40, guaranteed Thailand’s excellent total of 182-3.
Bhutan’s chase, in turn, never really got going, losing wickets on a frequent basis. In the first over, they lost both openers for ducks, with Pema Yangchen being run-out without facing a delivery. As Nanthita Boonsukham scythed through the middle-order, 0-2 became 12-5 in the ninth over as the run rate increased.
Sonam and Norbu Wangchuk teamed up for a brief period, contributing 12 and 10 points, respectively, but ultimately finished with a 52-8 score. Thipatcha Putthawong took two wickets to help her team to a 130-run victory.
Banthida Leephatthana, the match’s Player of the Match, was thrilled after her knock, despite needing stitches on her finger, and remarked, “I feel really proud today.” Before the game, I had three stitches in my hand, and all I wanted to do was support the squad, and I’m glad I was able to do so.”