After a shock loss to Scotland in the previous game, Thailand bounced back to register a resounding seven-wicket win over Ireland at Sportpark Het Schootsveld in Deventer on Tuesday (August 13). Sornnarin Tippoch, Thailand captain, led the way with an exceptional spell of 3 for 10 that dismantled Ireland’s top order, before a hit-trick from Onnicha Kamchomphu left Ireland in tatters.
Looking to continue where they left off against Netherlands in their last game, Ireland elected to bat after winning the toss on an overcast day. Rain had delayed the start of play, but Laura Delany showed great confidence in her batting group that had put on a wonderful show in their last outing. Sadly, the start was not what they wanted, as Gaby Lewis, the 18-year-old sensation who had clobbered 71 against Netherlands, was dismissed off the second ball of the day by Chanida Sutthiruang.
Despite gallant efforts from Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron and Delany, Ireland never really recovered from the early blow. They collected 36 runs in the power play thanks mostly to Stokell’s run-a-ball knocl, but following the introduction of Tippoch, their progress was severely slowed.
The Thailand captain first removed Stokell for 17 and then returned to dismiss Kim Garth— who once against struggled to find her feet labouring to a 24-ball 16—in the ninth over. Ireland were suddenly precariously placed at 45 for 3 with the threat of rain looming.
Delany and Waldron kept the scoreboard ticking with the ones and twos, also finding the boundary on the odd occasion. They kept the rate close to six an over, but Tippoch returned as the rain clouds closed in, to draw a false shot from Waldron. Trying to flick one off her pads, the wicket-keeper was brilliantly caught by Kamchomphu at square leg for 21.
That catch would be the start of Kamchomphu’s impact on the game. When the off-spinner came on to bowl in the following over— the 16th of the innings— she ripped through Ireland’s lower-middle order.
After having been smashed straight over her head for a boundary by Delany, Kamchomphu got the Ireland captain to top-edge a sweep that was comfortably taken by the ‘keeper. Eimear Richardson, one of Ireland’s heroes through the series, then bunted her first delivery straight back to the bowler. Sophie MacMahon walked out to face the hat-trick delivery, and despite her attempt to quietly see off the last ball of the over, was beaten all ends up. The ball went crashing into the stumps and Kamchomphu completed her hat-trick. She thus became the second player from Thailand – after Sutthiruang who took hers against China in February this year- and the 12th woman overall, to take a hat-trick in T20Is. The off-spinner finished with figures of 2-0-12-3.
Ireland had crashed to 84 for 7 in 16 overs, and when the rain came five deliveries later, they had been further reduced to 87 for 8.
When the rain finally stopped, Thailand needed 64 runs to win off 11 overs. As always, they began their chase cautiously, collecting 30 runs in the power play. They effectively played out Celeste Raack, the Ireland leg-spinner, whom they identified as the main threat.
With 34 required in 30 balls, MacMahon provided Ireland with their first breakthrough, going through the defences of Naruemol Chaiwai for 14.
Nannapat Koncharoenkai walked in and struck her very first delivery for a boundary, setting the tone for the rest of the chase. She scored a quick-fire eight-ball 14 before mis-timing a sweep shot off the bowling of Delany. Sutthiruang didn’t last long either, falling for a golden duck to become MacMahon’s second victim of the day.
However, if Ireland thought they had any chance of making a comeback into the game with Thailand 47 for 3, their hopes were quickly snuffed out by the pair of Nattakan Chantham and Nattaya Boochatham who polished off the remaining 17 runs off 12 deliveries. Boochatam clobbered a six over mid-wicket off the bowling of Delany to take Thailand home by seven wickets with four balls to spare.
Boochatham was unbeaten on 14, while Chamtham had scored 24 off 27 balls.
MacMahon was the pick of the bowlers for Scotland, finishing with figures of 2 for 13.
Brief Scores: Ireland 87/8 in 16.5 overs (Laura Delany 22, Mary Waldron 21; Sornnarin Tippoch 3-10, Onnicha Kamchomphu 3-12) lost to Thailand 67/3 in 10.2 overs (Nattakan Chantham 24*; Sophie MacMahon 2-13) by seven wickets.