By Richard Lockwood

Thailand women’s cricket team faced Pakistan in their first match in the World Twenty20 Qualifier in Dublin in one of the most significant matches in the history of Thai cricket as the country participated in a major ICC tournament for the first time.

Thailand couldn’t have made a better start as Nattakan Chantam took a wicket with the third ball of the match to take Pakistan’s first wicket without a run on the scoreboard.

A strong Pakistan side who have been on tour in England and Ireland for the last month recovered to make a total of 145 for 6 in their 20 overs thanks to a powerful innings of 47 from 38 balls from Nain Abidi but Thailand gave an impressive account of themselves in the field.

Chanida Sutthiruang who had bowled so well in the ACC Women’s Championship in January took two wickets for 30 and Ratanaporn Padunglerd also claimed two wickets later in the innings with her improving medium pace.

A target of 146 looked a stiff one but Thailand were determined to give a good account of themselves with the bat by building a platform for their innings so they could go for their shots in the last few overs.

Two spinners opened the bowling for Pakistan which may have surprised the Thai openers but Pundarika Prathanmitr and Narumol Chaiwai saw them off before both fell when medium pace was introduced.

Pundarika hit one boundary in her innings of 10 and captain Sornnarin Tippoch reached 11 in 28 balls after batting with great patience before being dismissed to leave the score on 45 for five at the start of the 17th over.

Chanida Sutthiruang came to the wicket in a similar situation in the ACC Women’s Championship final against China and changed the complexion of the match and here she raised Thai spirits by hitting three fours in her first four balls.

She made 19 from just 11 balls to show that Thailand can bat well down the order and saw her team to a total of 76 for 8 in their 20 overs.

The result of the match which saw Pakistan win by 69 runs looks one-sided but Thailand should be encouraged by standing up to a strong opponent and sticking to a sensible game plan.

The other match in the group saw Netherlands beat Zimabwe by three runs in a low scoring encounter in which neither side reached 100. Thailand will face both these teams in their next two matches.

In the other group Ireland beat Japan by 117 runs as opener Clare Shillington made a century, while Sri Lanka beat Canada just as convincingly by nine wickets after bowling them out for just 44.

Thailand should take great encouragement even in defeat to one of the favourites to win the tournament and they will feel they can win matches later in the competition.

They gave a good account of themselves in the field and with the bat they showed they were capable of building an innings by making a steady start and raising the tempo towards the end. If the top order can also look for the singles totals beyond the hundred mark can be achieved in future matches which will bring a good chance of success.

There is also room for improvement as the top-order batting need to look for the singles to disrupt the bowling side and keep the scoreboard ticking.

ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier 2013
Day 1: Pakistan v Thailand at YMCA, Dublin
Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat
Pakistan: 145 for 6 off 20 overs (N.Abidi 47; C.Sutthiruang 2-30, R.Padunglerd 2-13)
Thailand: 76 for 8 off 20 overs (S.Siddiqi 2-4, A.Iqbal 2-15)
Player of the Match: Nain Abidi (Pakistan)

Tournament page

Filed July 24th, 2013