Thailand cricket team. © ICC

The morning session of Day 3 of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 in Scotland saw all four teams from Group B in action. While Ireland and Thailand fought it out for the top spot, Netherlands and Namibia clashed in a search for their first win.

 

In the battle of the group heavyweights, for the third game in a row, Chanida Sutthiruang’s strikes with the new ball and some wonderful bowling under pressure from the spinners helped Thailand register a win that helped them go atop Group B. In a rain affected game, they downed Ireland by two runs in nerve-jangling encounter at Forthill in Dundee on Tuesday (September 3).

The right-arm pacer, who had already taken six wickets in her first two outings,  dismissed Orla Prendergast and Kim Garth with a couple of fabulous deliveries to peg Ireland back early.

 

Having been reduced to 37 for 5— courtesy the double strikes from Sutthiruang and Suleeporn Laomi— Eimear Richardson and Leah Paul joined forces to help resurrect Ireland’s innings. Richardson swept and reverse swept her way to a 19-ball 21 while Paul simply fed her senior partner the strike. The pair’s 32-run partnership came in just 4.2 overs— a period during which it seemed Thailand began to fumble under pressure.

However, Sornnarin Tippoch held her nerve, attempting to slow the game down and help her team regroup. She took the ball in the 14th over to dismiss Richardson, before Laomi saw the back of Shauna Kavanaugh (11) in the following over.

With 11 needed off the final two overs, Sutthiruang came back into the attack and struck immediately. Paul advanced down the track in an attempt to smash the fast bowler out of the ground only for the ball to find her edge. Sutthiruang kept the 16th over to three runs, leaving Onnicha Kamchomphu with eight runs to defend.

Sophie MacMahon and Lara Maritz took five runs off the first five balls of the final over. With three needed for a win and two for a tie, the inexperience of Maritz showed as she ran down the track even before the last ball was released. Kamchomphu smartly pulled back her length and pushed the ball slightly wider for Koncharoenkai to complete an easy stumping to get Thailand over the line.

Earlier in the day, Thailand’s batting struggles continued as their top order faltered in dark and gloomy conditions. Following a solid 39-run stand for the second wicket between Naruemol Chaiwai (24) and Nannapat Koncharoenkai (16) that took Thailand to 55 within the first 10 overs, Ireland pegged their way back into the game courtesy the spin-duo of Richardson and Paul.

After the off-spinner sent back Koncharoenkai, Paul took three quick wickets as Thailand lost 4 for 20 in the next four overs. The lower order collapse meant they were restricted to a total of 93 for 7 in their quota of 17 overs. Paul finished with figures of 3-10 while Richardson took 2-15.

 

Over in Arbroath, an incredible allround performance from Heather Siegers headlined Netherlands’s six-wicket win— their first in the tournament— over Namibia in their final league encounter at Lochlands. Siegers started the day with a three-wicket haul before blasting an eight-ball 21 to seal the win for her team.

The fast-bowler made a wonderful start to the day when she dismissed Sune Wittmann in the very first over. Following that wicket, none of the Namibia batters were allowed to get away as Netherlands kept a tight leash on the scoring. Although Adri van der Merwe and Petro Enright dug in for close to 10 overs, their 42-run partnership did little to hand Namibia the initiative.

Van der Merwe’s 34-ball 29 aside, none of their batters were able to make much of an impact through the game as Siegers and Iris Zwilling ripped through their line-up. The pair finished with combined figures of 6 for 38 as Namibia stuttered to 91 for 8 in their quota of overs.

Sterre Kalis (34) and Denise van Deventer got Netherlands off to a solid start in pursuit of their target of 92. While Kalis took the lead role, her partner was happy to play second fiddle. The pair managed a 40-run partnership in seven overs, before the latter was dismissed for a 21-ball 11.

Her wicket triggered a mini collapse, as Netherlands lost three wickets for 18 runs within the next six overs. It was then that Siegers made her presence felt, smashing five boundaries in seven balls— all of which came off the bowling of Sylvia Shihepo.

Although she was dismissed by Irene van Zyl in the 15th over, Miranda Veringmeier and Robine Rijke polished off the chase in 17.1 overs.

 

Brief Scores:

Namibia 91/8 in 20 overs (Adri van der Merwe 29; Heather Siegers 3-27, Iris Zwilling 3-11) lost to Netherlands 95/4 in 17.1 overs (Sterre Kalis 34, H Siegers 21; Wilka Mwatile 2-10) by six wickets. PoM: Heather Siegers.

Thailand 92/7 in 17 overs (Naruelmol Chaiwai 24; Leah Paul 3-10, Eimear Richardson 2-15) beat Ireland 90/9 in 17 overs (E Richardson 21; Chanida Sutthiruang 3-14, Suleeporn Loami 3-14) by two runs. PoM: Suleeporn Laomi.