Nepal made a winning start to their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifiers campaign, defeating hosts Malaysia by 5 runs in a thrilling match.
Chasing the target of 85 runs set by Nepal, Malaysia managed to score only 79 runs while losing 9 wickets, despite utilizing the full 20 overs.
Malaysia were in a comfortable position at one stage, having lost just three wickets for 70 runs. However, Nepal executed a brilliant comeback, led by off-spinner Kabita Joshi, who bowled a crucial over in the 17th, in which Malaysia lost two wickets, including a run-out, and could only manage two runs. Winifred Duraisingam, who top-scored for Malaysia with 28 runs, was caught out at mid-wicket.
Malaysia needed 18 runs to win in the last 3 overs with 5 wickets in hand. The 18th over from Indu Burma cost only 2 runs. In the 19th over, Kabita Joshi’s over resulted in Malaysia losing two wickets, including a run out. In the last over, needing 10 runs to win, Malaysia could only score 4 runs after losing two more wickets to right-arm pacer Kabita Kunwar.
Kabita Joshi (2-5) and Kabita Kunwar (2-10) were the pick of the bowlers for Nepal, while Sita Rana Magar top-scored with 38 runs.
Nepal lost the toss and batted first, scoring 84 runs in 20 overs, losing 6 wickets.
Sita Rana Magar top-scored for Nepal with 38 runs off 54 balls, including 1 four. Apsari Begma scored 17 runs and captain Rubina Chhetri scored 12 runs.
Nepal made a poor start, losing 3 wickets in the first 3 overs. However, Magar batted through the innings to help Nepal reach a competitive total. She shared a 51-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Apsari Begam.
Nepal will play their next match against Bahrain on Friday.
The tournament is being played in two groups, with Nepal, Bahrain, Bhutan, Malaysia, Qatar and UAE in Group A and China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Kuwait and Myanmar in Group B.
The top two teams from each group will progress to the semi-finals, with the winners of those matches qualifying for the Women’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier next year.