Nepal hammer China in Smash T20 opener

Kathmandu, January 12

Nepal thrashed China by 10 wickets in their opening match of the Women’s T20 Smash cricket tournament at the Asian Institute of Technology grounds in Bangkok today.

Nepal skipper Rubina Chhetry Belbashi invited China to take the first strike after she won the toss and the bowlers backed her decision by restricting the opponents for 48-6 in 20 overs. In reply, Nepal raced to 49-0 in just 9.2 overs.

Skipper Belbashi remained unbeaten on 14 off 29 balls hitting a four, while her opening partner Sita Rana Magar struck three boundaries in her 25-ball 24 not out.

Earlier, Karuna Bhandari and Nary Thapa shared five wickets between them to restrict China to a low score. Bhandari was the pick of the Nepali bowlers taking 3-9 from four overs, while former national team skipper Thapa claimed 2-6. Sita Rana Magar also took one wicket.

Opener Zhang Chan was the lone batter to score in double figure for China. Chan scored 13 off 38 balls hitting one of the three fours struck by the whole team.

After Chan was dismissed at 33-2, China lost the next four wickets for just four runs. Skipper Li Haoye (seven) and Lyu Ping (four) added 11 runs for the unbeaten seventh wicket.

The match was the first Twenty20International for the Nepali team and all the 11 members of the side — skipper Rubina Chhetry Belbashi, Sita RanaMagar, Sarita Magar, Kajal Shrestha,Karuna Bhandari, Nary Thapa, Indu Barma, Sarita Magar, Kabita Kunwar, Dolly Bhatta, Bindu Rawal and Roma Thapa — who featured in the day’s match made T20I debut.

Nepal are in Group A with United Arab Emirates, China and Thailand ‘A’, while Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Myanmar are in Group B.

The UAE and Nepal have two points each in Group A, while Thailand and Indonesia are tied on two points at the top in Group B. Top two teams from both the pools will advance to the semi-finals. The final is slated for January 19.