Thailand level the series 2-2 as Sutthiruang, Boochatham shine for the visitors

All-round Nattaya Boochatham helps Thailand to series-levelling win over Zimbabwe

Nattaya Boochatham in action. © Zimbabwe Cricket/Twitter

Nattaya Boochatham’s all-round display, along with an unbeaten half-century from Chanida Sutthiruang in the chase, led to a series equalling win for Thailand against Zimbabwe on Tuesday (August 24) at Takashinga Sports Club in Harare. For the hosts captain, Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano and Precious Marange scored half-centuries, but Thailand prevailed to win the final match of the four-match series by five wickets.

For Zimbabwe captain, Mugeri-Tiripano won the toss and decided to bat first. The home side lost the opener Ashley Ndiraya in the third over, but Mugeri-Tiripano at three found a partner in the wicketkeeper-batter Modester Mupachikwa (32). The pair formed a partnership of 60 runs, which ended when the latter was dismissed in the 19th over, courtesy a stumping by Thai wicket-keeper Nannapat Koncharoenkai.

When Marange came to bat in the 29th over, Zimbabwe were struggling at 93 for four. Once she was settled, she launched the first six of the match against Suleeporn Laomi. She and Mugeri-Tiripano kept the scoreboard ticking with quick running between the wickets and hitting bad deliveries for a boundary. The pair put a partnership of 62 runs to take Zimbabwe to a respectable total.

Mugeri-Tiripano was bowled by Phannita Maya in the 40th over for her patient 58, but that did not stop Marange who continued to pile runs. She brought up her fifty in 58 balls and hit another six off Laomi to take Thailand past 200 in the penultimate over. Nattaya Boochatham took two wickets in the final over including Marange, who was dismissed on 66 as Zimbabwe ended their innings with a score of 212 for eight.

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If Thailand were to chase this total, they needed a strong opening partnership, and they found one in Boochatham and Nattakan Chantham. At the end of the power play, Thailand were 50 without losing any wicket. This promising partnership was broken in the 12th over when Christabel Chatonzwa bowled Chantham for 19. Loryn Phiri dismissed Boochatham and four balls later captain Naruemol Chaiwai was also back in the pavilion to see Thailand struggling for 61 for three by the end of the 16th over.

Nannapat Koncharoenkai (33) and Wongpaka Liengprasert (32) then steadied the ship with a partnership of 64 runs. When Koncharoenkai got out in the 36th over Thailand still needed 73 runs in the final 14 overs. Former captain Sornnarin Tippoch (29) and Sutthiruang took charge of the chase as they started their partnership of 75 runs with a fiery 11-run over against Josephine Nkomo.

Tippoch played the role of second fiddle to perfection, as Sutthiruang brought her second fifty of the series in just 45 balls. The pair narrowed the deficit by hitting 13 runs in the 44th over bowled by Nomvelo Sibanda and fittingly Sutthiruang (52) scored a winning run in the 47th over to help Thailand register a victory by five wickets.

Brief scores: Zimbabwe 212/8 in 50 Overs (Precious Marange 66, Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 58; Nattaya Boochatham 3/27) lost to Thailand 213/5 in 46.1 Overs (Chanida Sutthiruang 52*, Nattaya Boochatham 34; Christabel Chatonzwa 2/22) by five wickets