It was a day of drama at the ICC Women’s World T20 qualifier in Ireland as Japan were bowled out for just 21 to lose to Sri Lanka, and Thailand recorded the tournament’s first upset by beating the Netherlands.
Seventeen year-old Nattakan Chantam was the star for Thailand. She hit an unbeaten 24 off 19 balls to help her side overhaul the modest Dutch total of 84 for five. Openers Pundarika Prathanmitr (18) and Naruemol Chaiwai (17) got their side of to a steady start with a stand of 31 in 9.2 overs, but there were then three run-outs as Thailand threatened to implode. Fortunately, Chantam was on hand to guide them home.
The Netherlands had earlier lost Helmien Rambaldo in the second over after electing to bat. However, Miranda Veringmeier (15) and captain Denise Hannema (25) got things back on track with a second-wicket partnership of 35. There was little acceleration late in the innings, however, with Rattana Sangsoma (2-11), Ratanaporn Padunglerd (1-14) and Nattaya Boochatham (1-13) all bowling tidily.
Ireland had Clare Shillington to thank for the second match running as they booked their place in the semi-finals with a 77-run demolition of Canada. After hitting a century on Tuesday to help the hosts thrash Japan, Shillington made 81 off 61 balls today. She shared 71 with her opening partner and captain Isobel Joyce (17) as Ireland piled up 146 for seven.
Canada, after making just 44 in game one, then struggled to 69 before being all out as only two batters reached double figures. They were Suthershini Sivanantham (14) and Durriya Shabbir (23) who added 30 for the second-wicket. Eimear Richardson (2-10), Melissa Scott-Hayward (2-15) and Isobel Joyce (2-10) each picked up a brace of wickets for Ireland.
Sri Lanka also booked their place in the last four with their humiliation of Japan. There were some remarkable bowling figures on show as Eshani Kaushalya (4-0-5-2), Sripali Weerakkody (3-1-2-2) and Chandima Gunaratne (4-2-2-2) were superb. Only Ayako Nakayama reached double figures for Japan as they were all out for 21 in 18.1 overs. Sri Lanka’s opening pair of Chamari Atapattu (4 not out) and Yasoda Mendis (18 not out) then took just 10 balls to knock off the runs.
And Zimbabwe made it three teams who can no longer reach the semi-finals of the main competition after they came up well short of Pakistan’s 142 for four in the day’s final match. Things had begun well for them as they reduced Pakistan to 26 for four courtesy of a brace of wickets from Josephine Nkomo (2-20). However, Bismah Maroof and Sana Mir rescued the innings, both passing 50 and adding an unbroken 116 in 79 balls for the fifth-wicket.
Zimbabwe then found the going tough for the duration of their run chase. They quickly slipped to 16 for three as Qanita Jalil (2-18) struck twice. Chipo Mugeri did her best with a 33-ball 32 but wickets tumbled around her. Nida Dar took two for six from her four overs as Zimbabwe ended on 70 for nine.
Saturday sees the Netherlands and Thailand enter must-win games against Pakistan and Zimbabwe respectively. If both sides lose, then the Netherlands are in pole position to qualify as they have the far superior net run rate. Group B is all settled, with the only interest being Sri Lanka and Ireland doing battle to see who can avoid Pakistan in the semi-finals.
Japan, Canada, Zimbabwe and either the Netherlands or Thailand will then progress to the plate competition, while the other four teams will battle it out for the top prize. Three of them will also qualify for the ICC World T20, which will be held in Bangladesh next year.
© Cricket World 2013