It was a decent match between two teams playing with joy and largely free of inhibition doing the basics well and capable of flashes of brilliance. Iran have made quite an impact in this tournament in spite of two losses and Thailand coming into this match unbeaten could not take them lightly. It was Thailand’s greater all-round strength in depth and match-experience that had them emerge winners by 67 runs.

Thailand won the toss and chose to bat. Pundarika Prathanmitr ducked beneath a high full-toss to be bowled behind her back and then her captain Sonnarin Tippoch was run out by a fabulous bit of fielding from Sima Hashimzehi swooping from cover to run out the batter scrambling back to the crease with a direct hit. The kind of things that may never happen again to the Thai girls this tournament, but they happened today and Thailand were in early trouble made worse by losing opener Naruemo Chaiwai for 10 in the 4th over. Thailand at this stage 15-3.

Iran’s field settings to the combination of left-and right-handers in the Thai lineup were good. They weren’t perfect in the field but they were very committed, attacking the ball and throwing well from the outfield.

Somayyeh Sahrapour was the pick of the Iranian bowlers, a skiddy pacer coming in from the Road End and she picked up her second clean-bowled victim in the sixth over. Iran then had a couple of loose overs and Thailand picked up the run-rate. The tall left-hander Sivaporn Kosathong was in and she can bat as can the shorter left-hander Nattaya Boochatham. The 50-partnership came up in 37 balls with a four to third man from Sivaporn.

The 5th-wicket partnership was worth 76 (57 balls) when Sivaporn (35 off 30, 5 fours) skewed a drive to point. Thailand’s 100 came up at the start of the 17th over.

“Our target was 100 off the bat and 110 in total,” said Thailand’s coach Shan Kader. Iran did a lot of good work only to have it spoilt by extras. Wides have been the major performance blight of all the teams in this competition, even Hong Kong and Iran’s 34 today really cost them. Thailand bowl wides too, but they’ve been exposed to international competition a little bit longer and know that extras invariably prove to be the most significant factor in matches.

Thailand just had that little more grace and aptitude in the field and have a varied attack. Iran didn’t help themselves with two early run-outs; losing Sima Hashimzehi who had played so well against Singapore in the previous match to a fine piece of work from Ratchanee Somumjam was a big blow to Iran’s hopes. Iran were 22 for 3 after 5 overs. Needing another 100 off 15.

Opener Elham Ghorbani was still in though and she played the most forceful stroke of the day of Nathakan Chantham the ball scorching the outfield in its way to the midwicket boundary. Iran kept fighting on however, but poor running and good fielding by Thailand just kept pegging them back.

21 year-old Nantanit Khonchan took a hat-trick with her first three deliveries, the first stumped, the next bowled and the last to a great catch by her captain at short square-leg.

The last Iranian wicket fell to a run-out.

“The girls are improving day by day, match by match but what we really need is more match experience,” said Iran’s coach Shamsa Hashmi afterwards. Iran certainly has plenty of potential, having come a long way from a standing start. Thailand are more than starters, they next play Nepal to decide who finishes top of their table.

ACC Women’s Twenty20 Championship 2009, Day 5
Iran v Thailand at Kinrara Oval
Thailand won the toss and chose to bat
Thailand: 121 for 7 off 20 overs (N.Boothacham 27, S.Kosathong 35; Nahid H. 2-14, S.Sahrapour 2-15)
Iran: 54 off 11.3 overs (N.Chaiwai 2-12, N.Khonchan 3-0)
Player of the Match: Sivaporn Kosathong (Thailand)

Pictures by Peter Lim

ACC Women’s Twenty20 Championship 2009

Filed July 7th, 2009