Another idyllic day in north Thailand, another competitive ACC Women’s Premier match. Nepal tried hard with bat and ball but first Hong Kong’s bowlers and then their top order of To Yee Shan, Yip Sze Wan and Lai Wing Ki took the game away from Nepal, as they won by seven wickets with 16 overs to spare.
Hong Kong’s seam bowlers never allowed the Nepali batters to settle after Rubina Chhetry won the toss and took first use of the excellent Prem Oval wicket. Mariko Hill bowled with pace and direction and through Clare Crewdson initially wasn’t in the best of rhythm, enough deliveries were stump-high and on off-stump to make scoring difficult. Nepal’s batters couldn’t play their strokes with conviction and the infield was not beaten for the first for overs.
|Neera Rajopadhyay is the first Nepali to fall|
|Hong Kong’s captain Ishitaa Gidwani|
First change Ishitaa Gidwani kept the pressure on, but it was the golden-arm of young Marina Lamplough (a wicket with her first ball in international cricket on debut in the tournament) who struck in her first over today, deceiving Neera Rajopadhay with one that bounced outside off. She hits the deck hard with the seam and is quite a find for the Hong Kong side.
Hong Kong’s spinners weren’t effective today, too many full-tosses but Nepal couldn’t impose themselves against the seamers. The top order struck just two boundaries as Hong Kong chipped away. From 28 for 3, Saraswati Chaudhary and Rubina Chhetry doubled the score to 56 for 4 before Saraswati was trapped in front by Ishitaa who was moving the ball both ways off the seam.
|Rubina Chhetry gets one away|
Rubina struggled to beat extras as top-score (Hong Kong bowled 22 wides in all) but as soon as she did, with a four swatted to square leg she was caught at point off Clare Crewdson. Nepal’s tail were then pinned back by Mariko Hill and they finished on 103, Yip Sze Wan taking a one-handed catch off Marina Lamplough to end the innings.
There were not many wasted deliveries at all by the new-ball pair of Sonu Khadka and Rubina Chhetry, Hong Kong’s openers To Yee Shan and Yip Sze Wan only able to take advantage of anything short. To lived up to her nickname ‘Pull’ with two boundaries before thin-edging Sonu Khadka behind. Not many wasted deliveries at all by the new-ball pair of Sonu Khadka and Rubina Chhetry, Hong Kong’s openers To Yee Shan and Yip Sze Wan only able to take advantage of anything short.
To Yee Shan lived up to her nickname ‘Pull’ with two boundaries before thin-edging Sonu Khadka behind, Hong Kong 15 for 1 in the fifth. Lai Wing Ki was off the mark with a well-timed paddle to square leg, all the way along the ground. Hong Kong was batting soundly, with little margin for error for the Nepali bowlers on this wicket. Rubina Chhetry bowled five overs unchanged but Yip Sze Wan and Lai Wing Ki were calm and composed at the crease. Nepal pressed but there were no further breakthroughs for another 68 runs.
|To Yee Shan the serene|
Lai Wing Ki timed the ball exquisitely, playing shots all around the wicket and though Yip Sze Wan looked like she could be run-out on occasion, Yip was calm and composed with the bat and kept the score board ticking over. She ended the day 30*, and is currently the tournament’s highest scorer. Lai was out to a catch at long-off for an excellent 40, having struck six 4s and looks to have the talent and temperament to play more good innings for Hong Kong.
With this result, Hong Kong finish third and Nepal fourth in the event.