In the Asia Qualifier action in Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Thailand have booked their tickets to the T20W World Cup Global Qualifier.
A belligerent 85 from Esha Oza propelled UAE to a 57-run win over Hong Kong in the first semi-final of the Women’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier. In the second semi-final, Nannapat Koncharoenkai’s 59 powered Thailand to 105 for two before their bowlers skittled Nepal out for 59.
Both winners advance to the ten-team T20 World Cup Qualifier, where the top two teams will make it to the showpiece event. They will also contest the Asia Qualifier final on Saturday.
UAE vs Hong Kong
Opting to bowl first, Hong Kong got off to a good start when Maryam Bibi ran out Theertha Satish with a direct hit.
After a brief quiet period, Esha Oza closed out the powerplay by muscling Alison Siu into the leg side for three consecutive boundaries. Hong Kong dragged things back, conceding a mere 15 runs in the next four overs, restricting the UAE to 48 for one at the ten-over mark.
Oza, however, kicked into third gear for the second half of the innings, dispatching Maryam Bibi for three boundaries in an over before doing the same to Hong Kong captain Kary Chan.
Ruchitha Venkatesh fired back, conceding a mere 16 runs in her final three overs. The off-spinner picked up the big wicket of Oza who dragged her to a diving Shanzeen Shahzad at long on. In spite of this, the damage had been done. UAE set Hong Kong an imposing 142 for victory.
Natasha Miles got Hong Kong off to a quick start, smashing three boundaries in the first over bowled by Samaira Dharnidharka.
Sadly for Hong Kong, it was all downhill from there. Off-spinner Suraksha Kotte turned the game on its head, bowling both Miles and Kary Chan in the third over before Mariko Hill failed to execute a paddle sweep, instead getting out hit wicket to reduce Hong Kong to 24 for three in the fourth over.
With their three best batters back in the hutch, Hong Kong could not mount the comeback they desperately needed. In spite of Maryam Bibi’s career-best 34, they were bowled out for 84 with more than three overs to spare.
UAE 141/4 in 20 Overs (Oza 85, Egodage 42*, Venkatesh 1-24) beat Hong Kong 84/10 in 16.5 Overs (Bibi 34, Oza 2-6, Kotte 2-11) by 57 Runs
Thailand vs Nepal
After electing to bowl first, Nepal tasted success in the first over. Kabita Kunwar had Suwanan Khiaoto caught by delighted skipper Rubina Chhetry. Nepal continued to force Thailand to work for their runs, conceding a mere 31 runs in the first half of the innings.
Thailand, however, just as they did against Hong Kong, shifted gears after the drinks break. Nannapat Koncharoenkai and Natthakan Chantham used their feet to collect a boundary each off the next three overs, pushing the score to 54. In spite of Puja Mahato dismissing Chantham caught behind, Nepal weren’t able to stop their opponents from scoring 30 runs in the final three overs to set a target of 106.
Thailand’s spinners wreaked havoc on Nepal’s batters in the second innings. Nattaya Boochatham removed Kajal Shrestha in the first over before Thipatcha Putthawong got rid of Indu Barma and Rubina Chhetry in the second over, the latter trapped in front. Sita Rana Magar got a boundary away before succumbing to Phannita Maya to leave Nepal reeling at 8 for four in the fifth over.
Kunwar top-scored with an unbeaten 17 but received no support as Nepal were bowled out with three balls left in their 20-over allotment.
Thailand 105/2 in 20 Overs (Koncharoenkai 59, Chantham 31, Kunwar 1-17) beat Nepal 59/10 in 19.3 Overs (Kunwar 17*, Putthawong 3-5) by 46 Runs