Chanida Sutthiruang stars with the bat as Thailand clinch series against Zimbabwe
Chanida Sutthiruang © Getty Images
A blistering unbeaten partnership of 64 runs between Chanida Sutthiruang and Naruemol Chaiwai followed by another three-fer for Nattaya Boochatham and quality performance in the field led to Thailand winning the final match and the three-match T20I series 2-1 against Zimbabwe on August 3 at Takashinga Sports Club in Harare. The 24-year-old Loreen Tshuma struck thrice for Zimbabwe but it did not help the home side at the end of the day.
Thailand won the toss and decided to bat first in the decider. The reliable opening pair of Nattakan Chantham and Nattaya Boochatham started steadily against the experienced bowling of Nomvelo Sibanda and Audrey Mazvishaya. Precious Marange was once again introduced in the power play by Zimbabwe captain Mary-Anne Musonda and she immediately removed Boochatham when was caught at thirdman.
Thailand had a mini-wobble as they lost wicket-keeper Nannapat Koncharoenkai and Chantham in back-to-back overs. After those two blows, Onnicha Kamchomphu, who was quiet with the bat in the T20I series, hit the first six of the match off Nomatter Mutasa but Tshuma struck to end the promising knock.
By the time Sutthiruang came to bat, Thailand were struggling at 70 for five in the 13th over. She then partnered with Thailand’s captain Chaiwai to add 64 runs in the last seven overs. Sutthiruang led the charge for Thailand as she hit four boundaries against Loryn Phiri. She ended up being the highest run-scorer for Thailand when she scored 46 runs in just 28 balls. Chaiwai played the supporting role to perfection as she scored 22 runs off 24 balls as Thailand ended their innings on 134 for five from the stipulated 20 overs.
ALSO READ: Chantham leads dominant Thailand fightback against Zimbabwe
In reply, Zimbabwe made a change to their batting order as Marange opened the batting with Modester Mupachikwa. This gamble didn’t work as Marange was run out in the very first over of the chase. Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano, who replaced Marange at the crease showed her intentions when she hit two boundaries off Ratanaporn Padunglerd. She kept the scoreboard ticking for Zimbabwe and was caught in the covers by Sutthiruang. Mupachikwa on the other hand didn’t look comfortable in her short stay at the crease and was eventually run out in the 10th over.
At the half-way mark, Zimbabwe were 60 for three and needed 75 runs from the final ten overs. The task got even more difficult when they lost Musonda for 23 in the 16th over. Musonda and her partner at the other end, Chiedza Dhururu, were guilty of eating up deliveries in the middle overs which pushed the required run rate through the roofs and incoming batters were already feeling the heat from ball one. They struggled to cope with the prospect of going for the shots from the go.
Nyasha Gwanzura hit two back-to-back boundaries in the 18th over but it was too little too late as Zimbabwe lost three more wickets in the final two overs and fell short of the target by 27 runs as Thailand took the three-match series 2-1.
Brief Scores: Thailand 134/5 in 20 overs (Chanida Sutthiruang 46*, Naruemol Chaiwai 22*; Loreen Tshuma 3/14) beat Zimbabwe 107/7 in 20 overs (Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 28, Mary-Anne Musonda 23; Nattaya Boochatham 3/22) by 27 runs