Thailand women shine in washed-out match against Pakistan
Thailand's Chanida Sutthiruang is clean bowled during the Twenty20 women's World Cup match against Pakistan in Sydney. AFP
Natthakan Chantam’s historic half-century ensured Thailand’s unforgettable ICC Women’s T20 World Cup debut finished in record-breaking fashion despite rain prematurely ending their final match against Pakistan.
Thailand have broken new ground in Australia and they took that one further by making 150 for three when batting first at the Sydney Showground. Chantam (56) registered her country’s first Women’s T20 World Cup half-century in accruing 93 for the opening wicket with Nattaya Boochatham (44), with the batters shining in their final game in Group B.
But victory was not to be for Sornnarin Tippoch’s side, with persistent rain ensuring that Pakistan were unable to begin their chase at the Showground.
Pakistan finished the tournament with three points from four Group B games. They beat West Indies by eight wickets in their opening match before losing to England and South Africa which ended their hopes of a semi-final spot from the five-team group.
No side in Group B had registered more than four for the opening wicket against Pakistan but the debutants made a mockery of that record with boundaries aplenty in the Powerplay. A patient start was followed by four boundaries in Anam Amin’s second over, Chantam’s array of strikes down the ground a sight to behold.
It was to get better still, Boochatham lofting numerous deliveries over the top off Diana Baig – who had struck in her first over in every match until now. A superb ten boundaries ensured Thailand ended the Powerplay on 49 without loss, soon bringing up their first 50 partnership in the competition.
The openers kept motoring with Boochatham following up lofted drives with well-timed sweeps, reaching 70 without loss at halfway and becoming just the second side to not lose a wicket in the first ten overs.
Runs kept flowing before the partnership finally ended on 93 in the 14th over, Boochatham holing out to long on for 44 off Anam’s full toss. Chantam motored on regardless, scoring her country’s first half-century of the competition as Thailand made it to 100 for the first time this tournament.
She eventually fell for 56 to a stunning return catch from Diana, with Thailand entering the last four overs with 116 to their name. Nannapat Khoncharoenkai (20 not out) and Chanida Sutthiruang (20) ensured the momentum went into the closing overs, striking five boundaries to take Thailand to 150 for three – their highest score in T20Is.
Pakistan had never chased more than 139 to win a T20I but their own bid for history was thwarted as rain began to fall in the innings break. The number of playable overs began to tick away and with no sign of the bad weather relenting, the match was abandoned before Javeria Khan’s side could head to the middle.
But the result couldn’t dampen the spirits of a Thailand side that relished every moment of their final outing, this performance giving them a platform to build on ahead of their bid to reach the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2022.
Hosts South Africa and the seven other top teams in the Women’s T20I Team Rankings on November 30 2021 will qualify automatically for the event, with the last two places to be filled at the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier 2021.
Scores in brief
Pakistan v Thailand – No Result, Sydney Showground
Thailand 150-3, 20 overs (Natthakan Chantam 56, Nattaya Boochatham 44; Nida Dar 1-17)