UAE registered their fourth consecutive win defeating Kuwait by seven wickets. Nepal too outplayed Malaysia by six wickets while Hong Kong recorded a well-fought 20 runs win over Bhutan on the fourth day of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier at the ICC Academy Grounds.
UAE won the toss and elected to field, restricting Kuwait to a paltry 76 for 5 in 20 overs. Khushi Sharma, who bagged five wickets in her previous match against Bhutan, had Kuwait opener Jeefa Jilani caught by wicketkeeper Judit Peter for 6. Opener Priyada Murali and Maryam Omar took the score to 33 when Suraksha Kotte clean bowled Murali for 14. Sharma struck again to dismiss Kuwait skipper Amna Tariq who got stumped by Peter for 6. Tariq could not score against UAE’s tight bowling and her six runs came off 25 deliveries. Sharma struck again with her accurate delivery to clean bowl Maria Jasvi for 1.
Chasing the target, UAE lost the wicket of their opener Theertha Satish, bowled by Mariam Satish for 3. Opener Esha Oza and one-drop Kavisha Egodage played aggressively and accelerated the run flow. They put on a quick 36 runs partnership for the second wicket before Oza fell to Murali for 38. Her knock from 13 balls had six boundaries. Though skipper Chaya Mughal got run out for 2. Egodage remained unbeaten on 33. UAE won the match by seven wickets in six overs.
Oza, who bagged the Player of the Match award, said: “We played according to a plan and we did what we should have done to win this match.” Talking about the cross bat shots she played, Oza said: “I play a lot of 50 over matches. In those matches, I prefer to play with a straight bat; but in T20 you need to play all around the wicket and hence I play all the shots.” She also talked about her match-winning partnership with Egodage. “We play many matches together in domestic cricket, so we don’t even have to call for our runs, just the eye contact is enough to get the runs.”
UAE skipper Chaya Mughal said: “We will be playing our last match against Nepal. Our aim is to win all the matches. We have also made sure to have a cushion of the run rate as we are ahead of everyone now. In this match, we had a plan to win in seven overs but we did it in six overs.”
Kuwait skipper Amna Tariq said: “UAE is very strong side and it has been a learning experience for us. We will keep on learning and improving from each match.”
UAE beat Kuwait by 7 wickets. Kuwait 76 for 5 in 20 overs; UAE 77 for 3 in 6 overs
Player of the match: Esha Oza
Nepal won the toss and elected to field. Malaysia got off to a shocking start with their skipper Winifred Duraisingam getting dismissed for a duck. Kabita Kunwar trapped Duraisingam leg before with the fifth delivery of the first over. In the second over, the agile Nepal skipper Rubina Chhetry ran out Wan Julia for one run. Two early wickets and it became hard for Malaysia to score runs till Yusrina Yaakop hit a boundary off Saraswati Kumari. Elisa Hunter and Yaakop took the score to 32 when Sabnam Rai clean bowled Yaakop for 12. Mas Elysa kept the scoreboard moving and put on 30 more runs with Hunter when Chhetry bowled Elysa for 14.
Ainna Hamizah Hashim did not last long and got bowled by Sita Rana Magar for 2. Magar also ran out Mahirah Izzati Ismail for 2. When Sabnam Rai clean bowled Noor Zakaria, Malaysia’s hopes of crossing the 100-run mark faded. Hunter remained unconquered on 38 which came off 40 balls with four boundaries.
Chasing the target, Nepal lost the wicket of their consistent Indu Barma for 4 when she got caught by Ismail on the on the side off the bowling off Aisya Eleesa for 4. Sita Rana Magar and Chhetry put on a stubborn 48 runs partnership for the second wicket before Chhetry got run out for 20.
Sarita Magar and Sita Rana Magar then took the score to 68 by the 13th over. Even though Sita Rana Magar got run out for 3, Kabita Kunwar hit a valuable 10 runs before she too got run out. Sarita Magar remained unbeaten on 15 and ensured that her team reach the target with 10 balls to spare.
Sita Rana Magar who won the Player of the Match for the second time in this event said: “Being a senior player it is my duty to give my best. I am happy that our team is doing very well. We want to win this tournament.”
Malaysian skipper Winifred Duraisingam felt that her team fell short by a few runs. “Although we came back strongly after a poor start, we fell short by 10 to 15 runs. Our bowlers did a good job but if we had a good start the story of the match would have been different.”
For Nepal skipper Chhetry, her team’s victory was the birthday gift from her teammates. “We have batted well. After we lost Indu Barma early, Sita Rana Magar and I had a discussion on how to go towards the target. We picked the singles and doubles and waited for the loose balls to hit a boundary. We thank the ICC for giving us such a stage as we are back on the big stage after nearly two years. We will surely keep improving with every match.”
Nepal beat Malaysia by six wickets. Malaysia 92 for 7 in 20 overs; Nepal 93 for 4 in 18.2 overs
Player of the Match: Sita Rana Magar.
Bhutan won the toss and elected to field, restricting Hong Kong to 109 for 8 in 20 overs. Anju Gurung, as usual, picked an early wicket. She clean bowled Hong Kong opener, Shanzeen Shahzad, for 2. At the score of 13, Bhutan picked the prize wicket of Mariko Hill. Tashi Cheki had Hill clean bowled for 4. The onus of lifting the team from trouble now fell on skipper Kary Chan, and she along with opener Natasha Miles put on a 69 runs partnership for the third wicket.
Dechen Wangmo provided the breakthrough dismissing Miles for 34. Her innings came off 39 balls with a single boundary. Going for the runs, Hong Kong began to lose wickets at regular intervals. Emma Lai got stumped by wicketkeeper Sonam Paldo off Tshering Zagmo for 2. Paldon also ran out Maryam Bibi for 2. Gurung picked her second wicket by trapping Chan leg before for 43. Her 50-ball knock contained two boundaries. Gurung also picked her third wicket by clean bowling Hong Kong wicketkeeper Hiu Ying Cheung for 2. Cheki too picked her second wicket by clean bowling Ruchitha Venkatesh for 3. Hong Kong was thus restricted to 109 for 8 in 20 overs.
Chasing the target, Bhutan lost early wickets with Venkatesh clean bowling opener Paldo for 6 and Iqra Sahar too clean bowling one-drop Wangmo for 4. Opener Ngawang Choden and Tshering Zangmo fought hard to up the run flow but Choden got run out for 22. Zangmo and Sonam Choden took the score past the 50-run mark, but at the score of 59, Zangmo got bowled by Betty Chan for 13.
To make matters difficult, Sahar picked her second wicket trapping Bhutan captain Yeshey Choden leg before for 4. Running out Sonam Choden for 11, Hong Kong took a firm grip on the match. Betty Chan picked her second wicket clean bowling Ruchitha Venkatesh for 3 and thus ended the Bhutan challenge.
Hong Kong skipper Kary Chan top-scored with a knock of 43 and was adjudged Player of the Match for the second time, She attributed her success to hard work “I train hard, and I also wanted to see my team post a good total. All the girls have put in a lot of hard work and I am happy that everyone is giving hundred per cent. We don’t focus on anything, including run-rate, since our aim was to win the match.”
Bhutan skipper Yeshey Choden is not disappointed with the defeat. “Winning and losing is part of the game. How we fight and play the matches is important for us. We will surely go on to win our last match against Malaysia,” remarked Choden confidently.
Hong Kong beat Bhutan by 20 runs. Hong Kong 109 for 8 in 20 overs; Bhutan 89 for 7 in 20 overs
Player of the Match: Kary Chan
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