Thailand battles, but falls short by 46 runs in Group A encounter
In front of more than a handful of its supporters and a group of school children celebrating a birthday party by watching cricket at the quaint Colombo Cricket Club, Ireland Women beat Thailand Women by 46 runs in a Group A clash of the Women’s World Cup Qualifiers 2017. With two wins in four games, Ireland is now almost assured of a place in the Super Six.
Opting to bat first, Ireland rallied around Kim Garth’s brisk 98 to post 218 for 7. Then, Lucy O’Reily finished with 3 for 28 as Thailand were restricted to 172 for 9.
Garth had recently spoken about the need to be consistent in order to take her game to the next level. Having failed against Sri Lanka Women and India Women, she made her second half-century of the tournament to get back in touch. She had made 63 in the win against Zimbabwe Women in the first game.
Ireland was 33 for 1 in 10 overs when Garth took guard. Soon it became 49 for 2 when Cecelia Joyce was dismissed for 35. Garth focussed on spending time at the crease. She was well supported by Laura Delany, the captain, who made 50.
The duo added 106 runs in 27.2 overs to lay a strong foundation. The momentum of the innings shifted when the fourth-wicket pair of Garth and Clare Shillington put on 35 runs in 3.2 overs. Garth did most of the scoring, with Shillington’s contribution being 9 off 10 balls.
Wickets kept falling after that, but Garth had set the tone for a 200-plus score. She was last to be dismissed, falling in the penultimate ball of the innings when she was run out after facing 122 balls and hitting nine fours and a six.
Ratanaporn Padunglerd and Suleeporn Laomi were Thailand’s most successful bowlers, picking up two wickets each.
Considering this was only its third 50-over game, Thailand was also going to find it difficult to chase 219. But, like in the game against Zimbabwe, it showed fight once again with the bat.
Nattaya Boochatham (44) and Sornnarin Tippoch (42), the captain both showed tremendous grit. The duo held the innings together, with Boochatham’s 61-run stand for the third wicket with Nannapat Koncharoenkai being the best association.
While Boochatham batted with caution, Tippoch was innovative, scoring at a strike-rate of 71.18.
Ciara Metcalfe had Boochatham lbw, and Tippoch was run out. After that O’Reily picked up two more wickets as suddenly Thailand looked in danger of being bowled out. But it fought on, and the unbroken last-wicket pair of Laomi and Rattana Sangsoma batted out 31 balls to help the team achieve one of its main objectives of the tour – not getting bowled out.
Thailand takes on Sri Lanka Women in its final league game at the Mercantile Cricket Association on February 13.