Chantham leads dominant Thailand fightback against Zimbabwe

Kalyani Mangale
28 Aug 2021
Chantham leads dominant Thailand fightback against Zimbabwe

Nattakan Chantham drives one through the off side. © Cricket Thailand/Twitter

Led by Natthakan Chantham’s career-best unbeaten 88 runs and Nattaya Boochatham’s sensational four-fer Thailand made a dominant comeback by a massive 53 runs in the second T20I against Zimbabwe played at the Takashinga Sports Club in Harare on Saturday (August 28) to level the series 1-1. Chantham went past her own record to register the highest individual score for Thailand in T20Is.

Thailand’s decision to bat first in the match proved spot-on as the opening pair of Boochatham and Chantham started well against the experienced Zimbabwean bowlers Nomvelo Sibanda and Josephine Nkomo. Chantham got going with a lovely cover drive off Nkomo and Zimbabwe’s captain Mary-Anne Musonda had to introduce the off-spin of Precious Marange inside the power play. But Boochatham hit two back-to-back boundaries off her to take Thailand to 38 for no loss by the end of the power play.

Boochatham then tried to hit over covers but failed as Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano took a catch to break the partnership of 44 runs. Chantham was then joined by the half-centurion from the previous match, Nannapat Koncharoenkai, as they took Thailand past 50. Chantham was at her fiery best when she launched a full toss from Loryn Phiri over deep mid-wicket as halfway through Thailand were 60 for one.

Koncharoenkai’s (13) wicket in the 13th over did not slow Chantham down at all. She welcomed Sibanda back with a boundary and followed it by a thumping six over long-off to reach her fourth T20I half-century. She found a reliable partner in Naruemol Chaiwai (20*) as the pair put on 53 in just 32 balls.

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Thailand recorded their highest-ever score in the shortest format, going past the 150 for three they had posted against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup last year. It was a frustrating day at the office for Zimbabwean bowlers as none of them could stop the Chantham show, who finished unbeaten on 88 off just 65 balls.

In reply, Zimbabwe struggled in the power play as Boochatham struck with back-to-back deliveries to reduce the home side for 24 for 3 at the end of the fourth over. Just like in the first innings, Marange had to step in the power play for her side, this time with the bat. Marange’s valuable partnership with Modester Mupachikwa (18) came to an end via a run out at the keeper’s end while going for a non-existent single. Halfway through the second innings, Zimbabwe were 50 for four as the required rate was climbing.

Marange kept the scoreboard ticking for the home side in partnership with Nkomo (25), but it was too little too late for them. Once Marange (30) fell in the 15th over. None of the Zimbabwe batters could hit big runs as the home side lost six wickets for just 30 runs, which included two double-wicket overs from Onnicha Kamchomphu and Boochatham. The latter finished with figures of 4/16, her third career four-fer in T20I cricket.

Thailand have levelled the three-match series 1-1, with one match to go.

Brief scores: Thailand 154/3 in 20 overs (Nattakan Chantham 88*, Nattaya Boochatham 24; Loreen Tshuma 2/27) beat Zimbabwe 101 all out in 19.3 overs (Precious Marange 30, Josephine Nkomo 25; Nattaya Boochatham 4/16) by 53 runs

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