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Nepal out of Qualifier race; wait for Asia Cup spot

Nepal on Friday suffered a heart-breaking one-wicket loss to Thailand that saw them blow away an opportunity to qualify for the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup Global Qualifier.

Needing a victory to make sure they remain in hunt for next year’s final test for 2018 World Cup, Nepal notched up 108-4 in 20 overs – their highest score in the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifying Series for Asia Region. However, a battering from Thai openers and sensible batting from No 7 Chanida Sutthirang helped them reach 109-9 with six balls to spare.

Thailand qualified for the Qualifiers with unassailable lead in the points table scripting eight points from five games. Nepal, China and Hong Kong have four points each with the latter two holding on to the second and third spot respectively on net run rate. The only positive left for Nepal now is they win their next match and see Thailand beat China to grab a spot in the 2016 Women’s Asia Cup.

Thailand got off to a flier when skipper Rubina Chhetri was bowled for 19 runs in the first over including a six in the first ball. Thailand raced to 29 in the first three overs before Nirmala Shahi provided the breakthrough removing Chantam, who set the chase with an 11-ball 23 with three fours and a six.

Nepal were looking clueless when Thailand reached half century by the end of seventh over before Karuna Bhandari opened the floodgates picking up three wickets in the eighth over including that of another opener Sirintra Saengsakaorat (16).

In a flurry of wickets, Thailand lost their six wickets for 12 runs to be at 62-7 in 11.4 overs only for Sutthiruang to hold firm. She shared a match-winning 34-run stand with Wongpaka Liengprasert (11) taking the match away from Nepal. Sutthiruang made 27 off 25 with two fours and a six.

Karuna took 4-15 from four overs, while Rubina and Sita Rana Magar had two scalps apiece. Rubina was clobbered for 34 runs in 3.4 overs.

Earlier, Nepal batting woes recovered after they posted scores in triple figures for the first time in the tournament. They lost Roshani Bohora (two) early in the game but other batswomen contributed in double figures.

Nary Thapa was involved in two crucial partnerships, sharing 33 runs for the fourth wicket with Indu Verma and an unbroken 27-run stand with Rubina (10 not out). Nary remained unbeaten on 32 off 25 with three boundaries. She and Rubina also hit a six each.

Indu made 26 off 36 with three fours, while Nirmala Shahi made a run-a-ball 20 with two hits to the fence. Jyoti Pandey made 13 off 26 with one four. Player-of-the-match Sutthiruang took 2-24 for Thailand.

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