UAE can play cricket, no doubt about it, though they'll want to bowl far fewer wides and be faster to the ball in the field and getting to 80 off their 20 overs against Nepal was a decent achievement. But Nepal simply turned on the gas with the bat and raced away with the game in front of a passionate group of 200 spectators at the KEC Ground in Kuwait today, to win by eight wickets with 64 balls to spare.

It was an interesting contrast in styles out there today - UAE needing to be told what to do by their Coach and Assistant Manager almost every ball in the field, Nepal's cricketers an Asian Games and plenty of domestic and international cricket under their belts just doing their job with ruthless efficiency. It is was girls against women and the women won. Nepal's bowlers are some way short of the best attack in the competition and hard as Shruti Pandey and her UAE team had to work for their runs against the Nepali bowlers, they weren't ever really threatened by pace, movement or crease-cramping accuracy.

Shambhavi Gupta, stumped by Mamta Thapa

UAE got themselves out, Shruti Pandey apart, whose 38* off 53 balls was a triumph of application and gap-threading tucks and glances. Tall and athletic she ran well between the wickets but was never really able to unleash her full range of strokes, being always conscious of having to rebuild her team's innings after an invariable bit of haplessness at the other end. UAE's captain was by 31 the highest score for her team.

Shruti Pandey
Pandey's was a fine innings and UAE's 80 for 6 was worth a few more, for on the long-grassed heavy KEC outfield boundaries aren't easy to come by. But Nepal's batsman, small and compact, (none more so than Rashmi Sharma who played the stroke of the day, a drive of pure timing that just raced to the long-off boundary) generated considerable power and forced, pulled and swatted eight boundaries. Nepal ran away with the game, aided by some shoddy bowling. UAE tried their best but their best needed to be 160 runs today.

Rashmi Sharma

"Thailand bowled and fielded very well," said Player of the Match Rashmi Sharma afterwards, "about the game Nepal were very relieved to have won the day before on the same ground." Today she and her team-mates played in the way which has seen them finish second and third in the previous two ACC Women's Tournaments, until more countries can raise their game Nepal are going to have easy matches like this one today.

2011 ACC Women's Twenty20 Championship

Group B: Nepal v UAE at KEC
UAE won the toss and chose to bat
UAE: 80 for 6 off 20 overs (S.Pandey 38*; R.Sharma 2-9, Sarita M. 3-16)
Nepal: 81 for 2 off 9.1 overs (S.Magar 21*, R.Sharma 21)
Player of the Match: Rashmi Sharma (Nepal)

Tournament page

Filed February 20th, 2011