Nepal crashed out from the top two race, eventually the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Global Qualifiers, despite winning their last league match of the Asia Qualifiers against China by 50 runs on Sunday.
Sabnam Rai highlighted Nepal’s day with a hat-trick , third in Nepali women’s cricket and fourth overall but the team was left ruing the chances of getting more exposure for the Global Qualifiers in Netherlands where the team would have enjoyed high-profile games against some of the best non-Test playing teams.
UAE’s 34-run victory over Malaysia in the other match of the day confirmed Nepal’s place in the third spot with only the top two teams making it to the Global Qualifiers. Thailand, who beat Hong Kong by four wickets on Sunday, finished on top with nine points and will be joined by UAE – eight points – in the Netherlands.
Nepal, who had their first two matches against Thailand and Hong Kong washed out, had lost to the UAE that potentially damaged their aspirations to go through. They finished with six points ahead of Hong Kong (five), Malaysia (two) and China (zero).
After Nepal put on 102 runs from their allotted 20 overs, Sabnam returned with the ball and struck in the last ball of the second over removing opener Zhang Chan. She came in the fourth over and consecutively dismissed Liu Xiaonan and Z Lyu as Nepal gained complete control in the match.
Skipper Rubina Chhetri also picked up three wickets and Sita Rana Magar had two scalps as China had to sweat hard before they were all out for 52 runs in just 18.2 overs. Sabnam now joins the list of hat-trick club that has current skipper Rubina Chhetri and Karuna Bhandari.
Earlier, Nepal didn’t have big contributors in the game as Rubina pushed the team towards triple figures lifting the team from 83-8 with an unbeaten 18 from 14 balls that included two boundaries.
Kajol Shrestha was Nepal’s second best scorer making 16 off 26 with one hit to the fence, while Nary Thapa scored 11 off 24 with one four. Zhang Xiangxue took 3-19 from three overs for China.