CHIANG MAI – Thailand made it four wins out of four in the ACC Women’s Premier 2014 in Chiang Mai with victory over Iran by 165 runs at Prem but the winners of the competition will now be decided by the result of the match between Thailand and China, who also have a perfect record after they beat Nepal by 69 runs at Gymkhana.
This match will be played at Royals on Tuesday is a repeat of last year’s Women’s Championship final and will bring this new 40-over aside competition to a glorious climax.
With three wins already under their belt Thailand were looking to fine tune their skills in the 40-over format in this contest against Iran who had lost all three of their matches. The home side won the toss and elected to bat first which would allow their batting line-up to try to post a big total, while Iran were expected to show great enthusiasm in the field.
Chanida Sutthiruang was promoted to open the innings with Naruemol Chaiwai and she started strongly with a series of boundaries. Thailand scored 31 from the first 4 overs as Iran’s bowlers and fielders were struggling to find their feet against some aggressive stroke-play.
Thailand’s 50 came up in the seventh over as Chanida continued to go for her shots. She was not afraid to hit the ball in the air but Naruemol was defending in a more measured fashion.
Her Thailand team-mates were reminding Chanida that she had ‘see sip over’ to bat but she played a lovely on-drive for four and then was dropped at mid-on, so she probably wasn’t going to change her game.
Iran had been struggling with a damp ball at the start of the innings but they recovered well as conditions dried out and off-spinner Fariba Heidari was bowling well as her first 3 overs cost only 10. Thailand were still progressing at six runs per over after 12.
Chanida completed an entertaining fifty from 53 balls in 49 minutes with nine boundaries and if the bowling hadn’t been testing she had hit the ball hard and sometimes high.
Iran claimed their first wicket as Naruemol Chaiwai was bowled by Nasimeh Rahshetaei for 19 to end a fine opening partnership of 91.
Chanida’s innings came to an end on 61 as she was caught by Mahdiyeh Soltaninejad off the bowling of Fahimeh Khademabolfazi having hit 10 fours in an entertaining stay. Iran had fought back extremely well as Thailand managed only 33 for 2 in overs 11 to 20.
Iran’s revival in the field was continuing as Nattaya Boochatham was dismissed for just 4 as Nasimeh took her second wicket. Nattaya had looked so composed when she came to the crease in the early stages against Bhutan and Hong Kong but she has found it more difficult to impose herself later in the innings.
Iran’s fight back was getting stronger as Thailand lost their fourth wicket with the score on 104 as Pundarika Prathanmitr was lbw to Avideh Gilani for 0 as Thailand had lost four wickets for the addition of 13 runs. Iran were on top in the match and on their toes in the field.
Sornnarin Tippoch and Sirintra Saengsakaorat were at the crease and needed to rebuild the innings but both hit boundaries as Sirintra pulled through mid-wicket and Sornnarin drove through mid-on. Thailand were soon back in control with the fifth-wicket pair batting sensibly and now both into double figures.
Thailand’s 150 came up in the 32nd over and the 50 partnership soon followed as the home side were on course for a total above 200 as the batting power play was taken in the last four overs of the innings with Sornnarin and Sirintra still going strong.
The milestones came thick and fast at the end of Thailand’s innings as Sornnarin reached her first fifty in this form of cricket and also brought up the 200 in the 39th over. Sornnarin and Sirintra completed their 100 partnership as Thailand showed admirable depth in their batting line-up.
Thailand finished on a total of 219 for 4 as Sirintra helped her captain to add 115 for the fifth wicket as the Thai girls regrouped expertly after the loss of four wickets for 13 runs. Iran also did well to recover from a wayward opening to the innings when they were put off by a wet ball and some hard hitting from Chanida.
Iran also made an encouraging start to their innings with Mahdiyeh Soltaninejad hitting a pair of boundaries off her legs and Hanieh Golzari guiding a four down to third man, and Thailand must be careful not to under-estimate their opponents who were able to bat out the 40 overs in an earlier match against China.
Wongpaka Liengprasert and Sainammin Saenya were given first use of the new ball which was rather surprising and the experiment only lasted two overs before regulars Chanida and Nattaya were immediately introduced. 15 runs had come from the first two overs but the run-rate immediately slowed against better line and length.
Chanida made the first breakthrough as she bowled Hanieh Golzari for 5 to end an opening partnership of 23. Chanida and Nattaya bowled tidy spells but they only claimed one wicket between them in 11 overs.
The introduction of spin soon brought the desired results as Fariba Heidari was caught at gully off Sornnarin and little leg-spinner Suleeporn Laoimi had Mahdiyeh Soltaninejad lbw as both spinners struck in their first overs.
Iran lost their fourth wicket as Roya Kaheni was caught one-handed by stand-in wicket-keeper Naruemol Chaiwai off Sornnarin and Fahimeh Khademabolfazi followed next ball caught at slip by Pundarika Prathanmitr who had handed over the gloves for this match.
Young Suleeporn was impressing match referee, ACC development officer and former Test spinner Venkatapathy Raju with her natural ability to bowl leg-spin but it was Sornnarin who took the next wicket which was her fourth as Setareh Dahmardehzadeh was bowled to leave Iran on 42 for 6
Raju’s judgement was proved accurate as Suleeporn took two wickets in an over with one lbw and one caught by Chanida at silly point. Iran were now 47 for eight with seven wickets falling to the two spinners.
Just when it looked like Sornnarin may not take her fifth wicket she bowled number 10 Avideh Gilani with the last ball of her eighth over to finish with the figures of 5 for 13. Suleeporn completed a spell of 8-3-8-3 as the spinners have had an excellent day.
Nattaya Boochatham finished off a good day’s work for Thailand as she claimed the last wicket as Mina Delfani was caught at mid-off. The home side let their concentration drop for short periods against a much weaker opponent particularly when they lost four wickets for 13 and bowled a wayward pair of overs to Iran’s openers but victory by 165 runs to remain in pole position in the competition was impressive enough.
ACC Women’s Premier 2014
Day 6: Thailand v Iran at Prem
THAILAND WON BY 165 RUNS
Thailand won the toss and chose to bat
Thailand: 219 for 4 off 40 overs (C.Sutthiruang 61, S.Tippoch 64*, S.Saengsakaorat 30*)
Iran: 54 all out off 32.5 overs (S.Tippoch 5-13, S.Laomi 3-8)
Player of the Match: Sornnarin Tippoch (Thailand)