KATHMANDU, Nov 24: Nepal women’s national cricket team kept its qualification hopes alive as it beat Malaysia by 33 runs in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifying Series Asia Region on Friday. Nepal is targeting to earn a place in the Global Qualifiers finishing in the top two of the competition.
Sarita Rana Magar’s 33-run haul and Karuna Bhandari’s three wickets helped Nepal secure their first win of the competition.
Earlier, Nepal, who faced a 5-run defeat against United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday and had only two points that came after rain washed their clashes with Hong Kong and Thailand.
With this win, Nepal climbed to the fourth place with four points from four games while Malaysia is in the fifth with only two points. Thailand tops the table with seven points with UAE trailing with six points. Honk Kong remains third with five points and China is at the bottom of the table yet to earn a point. Each team has one game in hand.
At the Asian Institute of Technology Ground, Bangkok, Nepal was invited to bat first after losing toss and made a total of 108-6 in the allotted 20 overs.
Sarita top-scored for Nepal with 37 off 42 balls which included three boundaries while opener Jyoti Pandey made 21 runs off 39 balls.
Kajol Shrestha also made 14 runs off 18 balls while Roma Thapa and Indu Barma garnered six runs each, with Barma hitting a boundary. Nary Thapa scored five runs off nine balls while skipper Rubina Chhetri Belbashe hit two runs and Ritu Kanoujiya put just one on the Nepali board.
Jannadiah Halim and Nur Arianna Natsya took two wickets each for Malaysia giving away 28 and 15 runs respectively.
Karuna was the pick of the Nepali bowlers as she claimed three wickets giving away just 14 runs while player-of-the-match Sarita picked one wicket. Bowlers Sonu Khadka, Nary Thapa and Ritu also pocketed a wicket each for the Nepali side.
Opener Emylia Eliani was the highest scorer for the Malaysian side as she scored 24 runs off 40 balls which included three boundaries while the other top scorer for Malaysia was Zayani Syamimi, who hit 16 runs off 16 balls including two boundaries. Skipper Winifred Duraisingam was the other double digit hitter as she put 11 runs off 18 balls. Jannadiah Halim, opener Christina Baret made eight runs and six runs respectively. Yusrina Yaakop and Nadhirah Nasruddin scored one run each.
Nepal will next play against sixth-placed China on Sunday. Even if Nepal manages to beat China, it will have to wait for the results of host Thailand who faces Hong Kong and UAE who takes on Malaysia scheduled for the same day.