The Nepalese national women’s cricket team’s World Cup dream has been shattered after facing a big defeat against Thailand in the semifinal of the ICC T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier.
A win against Thailand would have secured a place in the final and a spot in the global qualifier for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2024. However, Thailand were too good for Nepal as they registered a 46-run win. After posting 105 runs on the board, Thai bowlers bowled out Nepal for a mere 59 runs in 19.3 overs.
Nepal had a dreadful start, losing Kajal Shrestha (0), Indu Barma (3) and Rubina Chhetri (0) within the second over. Sita Rana Magar, too, walked back for four as Nepal were down to 8/4 in the fifth over.
The Neapalse side couldn’t recover from the disastrous start and were wrapped up for 59. Kabita Kunwar scored the highest (17* from 20 balls) run for Nepal. Kabita Joshi and Apsari Begam added a sluggish ten runs each, whilst other batters couldn’t cross the double-digit mark.
For Thailand, Onnicha Kamchomphu and Thipatcha Putthawong picked up three wickets each. Nattaya Boochatham also grabbed two wickets.
Earlier, Electing to bowl first at UKM-YSD Cricket Oval, Bangi, Nepal bowled well to restrict Thailand to 105/2 after the end of 20 overs.
Kabita Kunwar yielded a superb start, taking the wicket of Suwanan Khiaoto (2) in the very first over. Nepal conceded just eight runs from the first five overs and 30 runs from ten overs.
Nannapat Khoncharoenkai and Natthakan Chantham then shared 68 runs for the second wicket before Puja Mahato dismissed Chantham for 31 in the 17th over.
Khoncharoenkai completed her half-century and remained unbeaten till the end with 59 runs from 63 balls. She scored four boundaries, two of those came in the last over. Chanida Sutthiruang also assisted eight-ball 11 runs.
Thailand scored 13 runs from Kabita Kunwar’s last over. They added 41 runs from the last five overs.
For Nepal, Kabita Kunwar and Puja Mahato picked up one wicket each.