Nepal recorded fourth victory in the ICC Women’s World Cup Asia Qualifier but had to sweat hard to defeat China by five runs in Bangkok, Thailand on Monday.
Put in to bat first at the Terdthai Cricket Ground, Nepal failed to take full advantage of the respectable start given by openers Sita Rana Magar and Kajol Shrestha before obtaining limited to 77-9 in 20 overs. Kabita Shrestha bowled a decisive 19th over as Nepal limited China to 72-6.
The win lifts Nepal to third from fourth in the points table on net run-rate right after they were tied on eight points with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In a round-robin league competition that sends only the first placed team to the Global Qualifiers for 2020 ICC T20 World Cup and 2021 50-over World Cup, hosts Thailand are on top with 10 points.
Thailand, who had smashed Nepal by 57 runs, can easily still deal with even though they lose to the UAE on Wednesday thinking about their strong net run-rate. Nepal next play tournament minnows Kuwait, also on Wednesday, those who are winless at the bottom the seven-team table.
After surrendering to Thailand in an important tie, the tournament has been all about salvaging pride for Nepal in which they almost failed on Monday only to be rescued by Kunwar. China required 21 runs from the last two overs and the pair of Zhang Mei and Caiyun Zhou prepare to launch the attack after a 38-run fourth wicket stand.
Kunwar hit with the wicket of Zhou in her second delivery and bowled tightly to acknowledge just five runs from the 19th over. Rana Magar was hit for 10 runs in the final over that fetched Nepal two wickets as the penultimate over turned essential. Mei top have scored in the game with a 39-ball 33 that included two hits to the fence.
Zhou scored 18 runs from 61 deliveries in a boundary-less innings. Player-of-the-match Rana Magar picked up 3-19 for Nepal who also affected two run outs.
Previously, Shrestha and also Rana Magar began the Nepali innings with a 32-run opening wicket stand before both the openers were brushed aside in a space of two runs. Rana Magar was first to go for 11 off 25 and Shrestha have scored 18 from 32 balls with one boundary.
After the dismissal of two openers, Bindu Rawal and Indu Barma (eight) notched up 17 runs for the third wicket but Chinese bowlers dominated the game when they gotrid of the latter. Nepal maintained just 27 runs for the cost of seven wickets in the past 39 deliveries.
Rawal (10) was the only remaining batswoman to help make runs in double statistics. Wang Men and then Han Lili took two wickets each for China.