Nepal Women won their first match of ACC Women’s Premier Trophy defeating Iran in the opening match by massive 221 runs. Sita and Sarita starred with both bat and ball to give Nepal ideal start to the tournament. With the win Nepal stands on top of the points table after Day-I of the tournament. In the other match played today Hong Kong(81/1 in 18.1 overs) defeated Bhutan(80/10) by 9 wickets.
This was the first ACC Tournament with 3 division structure set up in an attempt to reduce mismatch. But with both Nepal and Hong Kong picking up massive victories it seems that the plan didn’t work as well as ACC would have wanted.
Sita and Sarita contributed with half centuries in Nepal’s innings. With the ball Sita rattled the Iran’s tail getting 4 wickets while Sarita was extremely economical giving just 7 runs from the allotted 8 overs.
Since this was the first 40 over ACC Women Tournament Nepal also set records as highest team total, Win by the biggest margin, highest individual score(Sarita 72), and highest partnership for any wicket( 107 between Sarita and Sita for second wicket) ACC Women’s event.
In the match played at Gymkhana Cricket Ground, Chiang Mai, Nepal obliged Iran’s invitation to bat first posting massive 284 runs in the 40 overs riding on the two half centuries and unbeaten 47 from Neera Rajopadhyay. Iran also helped Nepal’s cause giving as many as 69 runs(including 57 wides and 8 no balls) extra.
Nepali openers Sita Magar(61) and Sobha Ale(8) provided Nepal an ideal posting 48 runs for the first wicket in just 6.3 overs. Sarita Magar then joined Sita in the crease and the duo laid the foundation for the big score. Sarita and Sita took Nepal’s score past 150 in less than 20 overs. The duo added record 107 runs for second wicket-Sita Magar in doing so became the first to score 50 in the tournament.
Sita made 61 runs from just 50 balls before getting out eventually. Her innings included 10 fours.
Nepal then lost the track a bit losing Mamata Chaudhary(4) and skipper Rubina Chhety(9) in quick succesion. But Sarita Magar was holding the ther end. Former captian of the Women’s team Neear Rajopadhyay then joined Sarita in the crease. Neera and Sarita added 72 runs for the fifth wicket taking Nepal’s score past 250.
Sarita was out stumped trying to up the scoring rate for Nepal in death overs. She made 72 runs from 94 balls with 7 fours. Nepal were 256-5 in 36.3 overs then.
Neera and Saraswati then provided the final push for Nepal adding 26 runs in less than 3 overs. Saraswati(12) was the last batter to get our for Nepal.
Chasing an impossible total Iran lost their track early as both openers-Madhdiyeh Soltaninejad(1) and Mehri Dahmardehzadeh(3)-were run out with only 24 runs on board.Iran never recovered after initial loss and folded for less than the amount of extras they gave away. Except Roya Kaheni(17) none of the batters even got to double digits- Roya Kaheni with Fahimeh Kademabolafzal provided some resistance early on taking Iran to 38/2 in 10 overs.
After 10 overs the runs totally dried out. Next five overs Iran could add only 5 runs and lost two wicket in doing so. Both the wicket going to skipper Rubina Chhetry. Roya Kaheni was first to fall to Nepal skipper in the 11th over followed by Sima Hasemezehi(2) followed in Rubina’s next over.
Sarita Magar who was brought in the 16th overs struck with her second ball getting Mina Delfani for 1. Despite half the side out for 44 in just 15.2 overs, Iran’s misery would continue for 15 more overs.
Sita Magar who was brought in to bowl the twenty third over hurried the win for Nepal-striking twice itself in her very first over. The eighth and ninth wicket also fell to Sita. The last wicket, however, came in form of run out and Sita missed a five wicket haul. Sita returned with figures of 4.5-1-5-4.
Sita was adjudged the player of the match for her all round performance.
Nepal will next take on Thailand on Thrusday.