India's Veda Krishnamurthy and Pakistan's Bismah Maroof

The second day of the ACC Women’s Asia Cup being held in Bangkok was dominated by India and Pakistan, the two finalists from 2012, who both gained impressive victories as they both achieved their second wins of the tournament.

Hosts Thailand played their first match in the ACC Women’s Asia Cup T20 2016 when they faced defending champions India at the Asian Institute of Technology Ground in Bangkok.

Thailand Women were playing mighty India for only the second time after losing by 77 runs in their previous meeting at the 2012 Women’s Asia Cup in China. Thailand lost by nine wickets on this occasion but they had looked composed with the bat as they scored 69 for 5 in their 20 overs.

Thailand's Nattakan Chantam

The hosts were confident enough to decide to bat first on winning the toss and Nattakan Chantam gave the innings a bright start. Opening partner Sirintra Saengsakaorat was caught at first slip off Mansi Joshi and Nattakan followed shortly afterwards caught attempting to cut the same bowler for 11 from 14 balls.

Thailand were 17 for 2 after the first six overs when India turned to spin and runs became more difficult to find against a tightly set field. Thailand managed 25 for 2 in 10 overs with Nattaya Boochatham 8 from 24 balls, and Ratanaporn Padunglerd 4 from 19 but patience did pay off as Nattaya hit over the top for two and was rewarded with a short ball which she pulled for four.

Opening bowler Shikha Pandey was brought back and Nattaya was caught at mid-off for 17 from 33 balls with the score on 37 for 3. Ratanaporn became the third Thai batter to reach double figures and celebrated by striking her first boundary to bring up the fifty from exactly 17 overs.

Captain Sornnarin Tippoch did her best to inject some more impetus into the innings as the girls tried to score from every ball and ran well between the wickets until a direct hit brought a run out to end Ratanaporn’s valiant innings of 20 from 46 balls.

Chanida Sutthiruang is one of her side’s best hitters but had less than two overs to show off her talents and the captain was also run out as she backed up too far. The innings ended with a flourish with some powerful shots in the final over to bring the total to a respectable 69 for 5 from 20 overs, 15 more runs than Bangladesh had made against India yesterday.

Thailand could be quite pleased with their batting efforts but India confirmed that they were a class above the hosts with the bat as their openers, Veda Krishnamurthy and Meghana Singh, not the pair who added 70 yesterday against Bangladesh, were untroubled against the new ball and posted 45 for 0 in the first six overs.

The introduction of spin made the Indians work harder for their runs with Sornnarin taking the wicket of Veda for 35 from 26 balls as she was stumped. Thailand’s captain finished with figures of 1 for 17 from her four overs and leg-spinner Suleeporn Laomi had a catch dropped as India closed in on their target of 70 which they achieved in 11.1 overs to win by nine wickets.

Thailand have been reminded of how high standards have become at the top of the women’s game but their batting line-up had shown they have good technique and can bat for long periods against good bowling. This will help them greatly as they prepare for the 50-over World Cup Qualifying tournament they will be playing in Sri Lanka in February.

The day’s second match was an official Women’s Twenty20 International between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, who have both previously finished as runners-up behind India in the Women’s Asia Cup.

Sri Lanka's Chamari Atapattu hits her second 6 of the day

Both teams have been playing regularly around the world in the ICC Women’s Championship with Sri Lanka just completing a home series against England and Pakistan travelling to Thailand from New Zealand. The match may prove to be a vital contest in deciding final positions in the league and Sri Lanka had a better record in T20 matches between the two sides.

Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat and reached 112 for 8 in their 20 overs as Chamari Atapattu hit 31 and Dilani Manodara 24 as they reached 60 for 2 at the halfway point of their innings. Prasadani Weerakkody made 24 but Pakistan fought back well to restrict the Sri Lankans towards the end of their innings as Nida Rashid took 2 for 17 from her four overs and four wickets fell in the last four overs.

Pakistan had won their first match by nine wickets against Nepal with 10 overs to spare but were made to fight much harder by the Sri Lankans even though opener Javeria Khan was in imperious form to record the first fifty of the tournament. She was well supported by Bismah Maroof and Nain Abidi as the hundred came up with only two wickets down.

Nain Abidi (left) congratulates Javeria Wadood on reaching her 50

Pakistan had reached the Asia Cup final in 2012 and are now well placed to repeat the feat as they joined India at the top of the table with four points apiece as they defeated Sri Lanka by eight wickets in 18.2 overs as Javeria Khan was unbeaten on 56 from 51 balls.

ACC Women's Asia Cup 2016: Day 2

Thailand v India at AIT
Thailand won the toss and chose to bat
Thailand: 69 for 5 off 20 overs (R.Padunglerd 20; M.Joshi 2-8)
India: 70 for 1 off 11.1 overs (V.Krishnamurty 35, M.Sabbineni 29*)
Player of the Match: Mansi Joshi (India)

Pakistan v Sri Lanka at AIT
Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat
Sri Lanka: 112 for 8 off 20 overs (D.Manodara 24, C.Atapattu 31, P.Weerakkody 21; N.Rashid 2-17)
Pakistan: 113 for 2 off 18.2 overs (J.Wadood 56*, N.Abidi 28*)
Player of the Match: Javeria Wadood (Pakistan)

Pictures by Abhilasha Agrawal

Tournament page

Filed November 27th, 2016