India Women solidify top spot with another crushing win

India Women vs Thailand Women

Another dominant outing from India Women saw them consolidate their position at the top of the table, this time pulling off a 66-run win over Thailand on Monday (June 4). At the Royal Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur, asked to bat first, Thailand kept Mithali Raj in check, who scored an unbeaten 97 yesterday, but cameos from Smriti Mandhana (29 off 22) and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (27 off 17) gave India the impetus that they required in the end as they finished with 132 for 4 in their 20 overs. Wongpaka Liengprasert picked up two wickets in three overs, while Ratanaporn Padunglerd and Nattaya Boochatham had one apiece.

Thailand, in reply, lost opener Nattakan Chantam early, but Naruemol Chaiwai (14) and Nattaya Boochatham (21) offered resistance for the second wicket. The pair added 31 runs before Kaur struck in successive overs to scalp three wickets. The flurry of wickets, and the soaring required run-rate, with them ending up scoring at just over 3 an over, hampered their chances of even going for a win. They were eventually restricted to 66 for 8 in their 20 overs, giving India another big win. Kaur’s cameo with the bat and returns of 3 for 11 in three overs had her named Player of the Match.

While India take on Bangladesh on Tuesday, Thailand will take on Malaysia on the same day.

Brief scores: India Women 132/4 in 20 overs (Mithali Raj 32, Smriti Mandhana 29, Harmanpreet Kaur 27; Wongpaka Liengprasert 2-16) beat Thailand Women 66/8 in 20 overs (Nattaya Boochatham 21; Harmanpreet Kaur 3-11) by 66 runs.

Bangladesh vs Pakistan

Fahima Khatun put up a fine all-round show (1 for 18 and 23*) to power Bangladesh Women to a memorable seven-wicket win over Pakistan Women in the Asia Cup game played in Kuala Lumpur on Monday (June 4). Bangladesh, who chased down 96 in the 18th over, also registered their maiden victory versus Pakistan in Women’s T20Is.

Pakistan, who were inserted into bat, largely struggled to up the ante against the spin trio of Khatun, Nahida Akter and Khadija Tul Kubra. At 57 for 5 in the 14th over, Pakistan were in a spot of bother. It was Sana Mir, the former captain, who tried to prop up the innings with an unbeaten 21. Nida Dar, the bowling all-rounder, also made her presence felt with an undefeated 18-ball 17,and stitched a useful stand of 38 with Mir.

Akter, the left-arm spinner, bagged two wickets. Khatun, the legspinner, who came into the limelight when she returned astonishing figures of 8 for 5 in a warm-up game in South Africa this year, bowled tidily and snared the scalp of Bismah Maroof, the captain.

While chasing down a slightly below par total, Shamima Sultana, the wicketkeeper-batter, compiled a crucial hand of 31 at the top of the order. On the other hand, Nashra Sandhu and Anam Amin chipped in with the wickets of Ayasha Rahman and Fargana Hoque to keep Pakistan in the game. Dar then sent Sultana back to the hut as Bangladesh slid to 61 for 3 in the 13th over. At that stage of the game, Khatun and Nigar Sultana (31*) strung together a stand of 35 to steer their side home.

The two teams now have one victory apiece from two matches. Pakistan next face Sri Lanka on June 6 while Bangladesh will lock horns versus table-toppers India on the same day.

Brief scores: Pakistan Women 95/5 in 20 overs (Sana Mir 21*; Nahida Akter 2-23) lost to Bangladesh Women 96/3 in 17.5 overs (Shamima Sultana 31; Anam Amin 1-9) by seven wickets.

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