Nepal lose to Thailand in final

Kathmandu, January 19

Nepal national women’s cricket team faced a 70-run defeat at the hands of Thailand in the final of the Women’s Smash Twenty20 cricket tournament at the Terdthai Cricket Ground in Bangkok today.

Batting first, the hosts posted 121-1 in their allotted 20 overs before Nepal were packed for 51 runs with 16 balls to spare. Only two batters were able to score in double figures for Nepal. Former skipper Nary Thapa top scored with 17 off 37 balls, while opener Sita Rana Magar struck two fours in her 17-ball 13.

Four batters, Indu Barma, Dolly Bhatta, Kabita Kunwar and Arati Bidari failed to open their accounts, while Sarita Magar and skipper Rubina Chhetri Belbashi — who scored five runs each — hit one four apiece. Chasing a modest target, Nepal lost opener Kajal Shrestha with just three runs on the board and Barma was dismissed a run later. Half of the team was already in the pavilion with the total score of 30 runs inside 10 overs, while Nepal lost the last five wickets for 12 runs.

Suleeporn Laomi was the pick of the Thailand bowlers taking 3-15 and she was ably supported by Sornnarin Tippoch, who claimed 2-6. Chanida Sutthiruang, Nattaya Boochatham, Onnicha Kamchomphu and Sainammin Saenya bagged one wicket each.

Earlier, Thailand made a flying start with openers Nattakan Chantam and Naruemol Chaiwai putting up 94 runs in 17 overs. Nepali bowlers toiled hard to break the partnership and that happened in the last ball of the 17th over when skipper Chhetri Belbashi ran Chaiwai out.

Chantam then combined with Chanida Sutthiruang to add 27 runs for the unbroken second wicket. Chantam remained unbeaten on 69 of 67 balls that included four boundaries, while Sutthiruang hit one four in her 11-ball 19 not out.

Nepal had made it to the final with a thumping 92-run victory over Semi-finals. In league round, Nepal defeated all four opponents — the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Thailand ‘A’ and China — to make it to the last four as Group A winners. A total of 10 teams took part in the tournament organised by Thailand Cricket Association.