ACC Women’s Twenty20 2009 Semi-Final 1 - COOL THAILAND BEATS CHINA

Thailand's captain Sonnarin Tippoch

On a hot, humid Kuala Lumpur day, the digital thermometer in the sun showing 34º at the time of the toss, and then climbing to 37º by midday, Thailand showed cool heads in beating China by 27 runs to go through to the Final of the ACC Women’s Twenty20 Championship.

Early signs were that the wicket was harder than on previous days, bouncing chest-high off a length for the fast bowlers early on. Thailand’s running at the start was diabolical – coach and captain both having to shout caution from the sidelines. China fielded very well, “we had a specialist softball fielding coach come in from Shenyang and help us,” says Rashid Khan , “and he really made a difference.” Such was the trust China’s captain Wang Meng had in her fielders, China kept only two outside the circle after the opening Powerplay. After 5 overs with Thailand on 17-2 China were well on top.

Thailand's Pundarika Prathanmitr is run out

Her four overs went for just 6 runs but the rest of her bowlers let her down. Maybe it was having two left-handers at the crease, not having any of their own, bowling to the Thai lefties was unusual), maybe it was tiredness after an intense tournament. Either way the Chinese bowlers weren’t as good as they’ve been up t now.

Thailand were a little subdued too 35-2 after 10, not really penetrating the infield and 22 of the runs coming off wides. After 15 overs Thailand were 65 for 2, with 34 coming off wides. No boundaries off the bat in all this time.

Thailand did show more urgency from this point on, Sonnarin Tippoch (batting with a runner) hitting the rope at long-on with a pull in the 17th over, she’d been in for 43 balls. China’s fielders started slipping now too, three chances being dropped.

Thailand just stayed in and let the runs come to them. They passed 100 in the 19th over with a four through midwicket by Tippoch, 11 coming off the over. They finished on 115-2, Sonnarin Tippoch and Nattaya Boochatham having a 97-run partnership off 82 balls. There had been 47 wides.

A lot rested on China’s openers Sun Mengyao and Hu Ting Ting who have shown lots of class in this tournament. Ting Ting, batting in short-sleeves and cap only was dropped at cover off her first ball but she looked to have settled down to play a big innings when she just lifted her head, driving, and was caught well at short-extra cover by Sivaporn Kosathong for 14.

After 10 overs China were 46 for 2, needing 70 off the last 10.

China’s bowlers may be unfamiliar with left-handers, China’s batters are unfamiliar with Thailand’s spinners. And there was turn off the wicket to go with the bounce. As soon as Nantanit Khonchan and Thanapan Saisud came on, the wheels started coming off the China innings. 5 wickets fell for just 15 runs in the next 5 overs, Thanapan particular tormenting the Chinese with her slow looping left-arm, taking 3-9.

Javed Miandad, Special Adviser to the Chinese Cricket Association and Pakistan’s Ambassador for Cricket to China was at the match throughout and spoke warmly of China and Thailand afterwards, “to see two young teams playing at this level already and playing correct cricket so quickly is very good. Cricket in China has a big future and in countries like Thailand also.”

Javed Miandad with Player of the Match Sonnarin Tippoch

ACC Women’s Twenty20 Championship 2009
Semi-Final 1: China v Thailand at Kinrara Oval
Thailand won the toss and chose to bat
Thailand: 115 for 2 off 20 overs (S.Tippoch 36*, N.Boochatham 21*)
China: 88 for 9 off 20 overs (N.Chaiwai 2-9, N.Khonchan 2-5. T.Saisud 3-19)
Player of the Match: Sonnarin Tippoch (Thailand)

Pictures by Peter Lim

ACC Women’s Twenty20 Championship 2009

Filed July 10th, 2009