Chaiwai and the spinners seal series for Thailand

Thailand’s women wrapped up the T20 International series at Royal Chiang Mai Golf Club with a 31-run victory over the Netherlands on Saturday to take the series 3-1.

It was another dominant performance by the home side, whose total of 126 for eight was the highest in any of the four matches, and whose spinners then maintained their control over the Dutch batters and restricted them to 95 for six in reply.

The Dutch had started well after Heather Siegers won the toss and elected to bowl, Caroline de Lange removing both Nannapat Khoncharoenkai and Natthakan Chantham in the fourth over of the innings, but they were unable to prevent Somnarin Tippoch and Naruemol Chaiwai from putting on 41 for the third wicket from just 23 deliveries.

Tippoch made 23 from 13 balls before she chopped a Silver Siegers delivery into her stumps, and Siegers struck again when she removed Phannita Maya in her next over.

But Chaiwai was still there, remaining at the crease until the penultimate over and making a 45-ball 47 which included eight fours; with Nattaya Boochatham contributing as well in the closing stages, the Dutch were left needing nearly six and a half an over to level the series.

Iris Zwilling was again the most economical of the Dutch bowlers with two for 15 from her four overs, while Siegers took two for 22 and Eva Lynch one for 21.

Babette de Leede went early, but Heather Siegers and Sterre Kalis again led the way, and by the halfway stage the Netherlands had reached 49 for one.

But even so, the required rate had risen to over eight an over as the Thai spinners turned the screw, and when Siegers fell to Tippoch in the first over after the drinks break the chances of a Dutch victory receded markedly.

Kalis fought on, making a 46-ball 39 but no-one else reached double figures, and when she was eventually caught at long on by Tippoch off the bowling of Thipatcha Putthawo the asking rate had climbed to more than 15 an over.

Annemijn Thomson and Lynch got the total up to 95, but the Thai bowlers maintained their nagging accuracy to the last, Putthawong taking one for 15 from four overs, Chanida Sutthiruang none for 16 from four, and Onnicha Kamchompoo two for 19.

And that was really the story of the series: Sutthiruang went at just 3.90 runs an over across the four matches of the series, and none of Thailand’s other five spinners went at more than 4.66 an over.

For the Netherlands, Silver Siegers was the most economical at 4.53, with seamers Iris Zwilling and Hannah Landheer going at under 5.50 and Siegers’ fellow leg-spinner De Lange averaging 5.00.

Cumulatively, those differences reflected the fact that on slow wickets the Thai batters were consistently able to score quicker than their opponents, in part because they totaled 41 fours and a six to the Netherlands’ 27 fours and two sixes.

The eight matches confirmed Thailand’s place on the stage of women’s international cricket, while for Shane Deitz’s Dutch side these testing series in unfamiliar conditions have provided valuable experience, giving him and them plenty to think about and work on in the months ahead.

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