Natthakan Chantham’s inspired knock led Thailand to a comfortable 53-run win over Zimbabwe in the second T20I of the three match series, setting up a mouthwatering decider. Chantham scored a belligerent 88 not out off 65 balls with 10 fours, and two sixes, to help Thailand wrack up a mammoth 154/3 in their 20 overs, a total which proved too steep for the hosts.
Thailand won the toss and elected to bat. Nattaya Boochatham was the early aggressor lofting anything full over the circle in the power play. Once the southpaw fell to medium pacer Mazvishaya, Chantham took over. She was comfortable using her wrists to knock good length balls around the ground off the back foot, whilst dispatching anything over-pitched or wide to the boundary. A straight six off Precious Marange was the highlight in a chance-less innings. Chantham found an able partner in Naruemol Chaiwai (20 not out off 15 balls), the captain pushing her opening batter hard between the wickets.
Zimbabwe’s bowlers struggled to maintain consistent lines and lengths. It was debutant Loreen Tshuma who returned the tidiest figures, with 2/27 off four overs.
Although Zimbabwe lost the out-of-form Ashley Ndiraya in the second over, Modester Mupachikwa (18 off 20) and Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano took the game to the Thais early on. The ever-reliable Nattaya Boochatham struck a crucial double blow in the fifth over, running straight through Mugeri-Tiripano’s defences, and then trapping captain Musonda in front for a first ball duck.
Precious Marange (30 off 29) hit a number of lusty blows, taking fifteen runs of Sornnarin Tippoch’s solitary over, but when she fell to Suleeporn Laomi in the 15th, Zimbabwe still needed 85 runs. Boochatham returned to mop up the tail, finishing with superlative figures of 4/16 off 3.3 overs, as Zimbabwe finished on 101 all out.
Although Boochatham took the wickets, Thipatcha Putthawong’s contribution was equally impressive. Barring one full-toss, the young left arm spinner bowled four impeccably accurate overs to Marange, Nkomo, and Dhururu, finishing with 0/12 off four overs.
The two teams meet each other in the decider tomorrow.
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