Chantham and the spinners win Thailand’s first-ever ODI

A composed century by opener Natthakan Chantham and outstanding control by Thailand’s five spin bowlers combined at the Royal Chiang Mai Golf Club on Sunday to give the Thais an opening 100-run victory in their series against the Netherlands.

Chantham batted almost througout the innings after Dutch skipper Heather Siegers had won the toss and elected to field, finally falling in the 47th over as she tried to force the pace against Iris Zwilling and holed out to Eva Lynch at long on.

Her 102 included eight fours and a six and was perfectly paced: she reached her fifty off 82 deliveries, but needed only another 51 to post her hundred on her ODI debut.

Her innings was the foundation of Thailand’s total of 243 for nine in their inaugural ODI, just four runs short of the 247 for six they had posted in their first-ever List A match, a World Cup Qualifier game against Zimbabwe in Harare, almost exactly a year ago.

The next highest score was 24 by Chanida Sutthiruang, who shared a fifth-wicket stand of 53, but extras also tallied 24 as the Dutch bowlers had difficulties controlling line and length in their first outing for nearly three months.

Seamer Frédérique Overdijk was the most successful of the attack with three for 39 and bowled an outstanding final over to keep the Thai total under 250, but leg-spinner Caroline de Lange also impressed with a ten-over spell for figures of one for 36.

Rain during the innings break delayed the restart and cut four overs from the Dutch reply, with the revised target of 235 from 46 overs taking the asking rate a shade above five an over.

It always seemed likely to prove an uphill task, with only Babette de Leede looking at all comfortable against a naggingly accurate Thai attack.

She and Sterre Kalis did put on 47 for the first wicket, but it took them 15 overs to do so, Kalis in particular struggling with the pace of the pitch and eventually departing for 12.

The key moment, however, was when De Leede was run out looking for a quick single, beaten by a quick throw from Chantham at square leg, and the Dutch were suddenly 54 for three.

Thai captain Naruemol Chaiwai was managing her attack well, asking for only seven overs from seamers Sutthiruang and Phannita Maya and deploying her five spinners in short, T20-style spells and denying the Dutch batters any real opportunity to settle.

Skipper Siegers was the only one to take the bowlers on, but her high-risk strategy eventually cost her her wicket when she tried to hit Onnicha Kamchomphu back over her head and was caught by Somnarin Tippoch in the deep.

Her 36-ball 28 had taken the total to 99, but the bowlers continued to deny their opponents any chance to lift the scoring rate – the innings produced only four boundaries, in comparison with 16 fours and a six by Thailand – and they were backed up by excellent fielding: the high point came when Gwen Bloemen lofted Suleeporn Laomi to mid-on and fell to a brilliant diving catch by Rosenanee Kanoh.

Kamchomphu finished with three for 35 from her ten overs, while Laomi with two for 22, Thipatcha Putthawong with two for 25 and Nattaya Boochatham with one for 17 were even more economical, as the innings eventually closed on 134.

Dutch coach Shane Deitz said afterwards that it had been a tough game, but that his side would benefit from the experience.

‘We played some good cricket in parts,’ he said, ‘but looked like a team that hadn’t played in a few months, and we were very rusty.

‘Some basic errors and missed chances cost us, but the girls fought hard all day in very hot conditions.

‘Thailand are a good side, especially in these conditions which really suit them, but we need to keep getting better every day. I’m proud of the girls’ commitment and hard work.’

The sides will meet again in the second ODI on Tuesday, with the third on Thursday followed by a five-match T20 series.

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