Nepali women thru to Smash Twenty20 final

Kathmandu, January 18

Nepal women’s national team thrashed Indonesia by 92 runs to advance to the final of the Thailand Women’s T20 Smash cricket tournament at the Terdthai Cricket Ground in Bangkok today.

Invited to bat first in the semi-final match, Nepal posted 119-3 in 20 overs before packing Indonesia for a paltry 27 runs in 11.1 overs. Nepal will now face Thailand in Saturday’s final after the hosts defeated the United Arab Emirates by 49 runs in another semi-final match.

Nepal made a confident start with openers Kajal Shrestha and Sita Rana Magar putting up 31 runs inside eight overs. Shrestha was the first to depart for 20-ball 14 in the second ball of the ninth over. Rana Magar and Indu Berma then added 70 runs for the second wicket in 10 overs to guide the team towards safe total.

Rana Magar top scored with 48 off 62 balls that included a four before being run out in the 19th over, while Barma remained unbeaten on 37 off 33 balls hitting two boundaries. Nary Thapa was the other wicket to fall for run-a-ball five, while skipper Rubina Chhetri Belbashi finished not out on two. Edenyce Eduard and Ni Kadek Fitria Rada Rani took one wicket each for Indonesia.

In reply, Nepal skipper Chhetri Belbashi wrecked havoc on Indonesian innings as only one batter was able to score in double digit. Opener Yulia Anggraeni, who struck two fours in her 14-ball 13, was the lone Indonesian player who managed double-figure score in the entire innings.

Indonesia were 19-2 when Anggraeni was caught by Sarita Magar off Nary Thapa in the fifth over before they lost the last eight wickets for just eight runs to be all out for 27. Player-of-the-match Chhetri Belbashi was the pick of the Nepali bowlers taking four wickets and she conceded just two runs in her 3.1-over spell. She also affected two run outs. Kabita Kunwar, Nary Thapa, Sita Rana Magar and Sarita Magar pocketed one wicket each.

Nepal had made it to the semi-finals as the Group A winners. Nepal registered victories against the UAE, Malaysia, Thailand A and China in the group stage matches to progress to the last four with 100 per cent winning record. The UAE were the runners-up from the pool. In Group B, Thailand also maintained the winning streak to make it to the semi-finals along with Indonesia.