Dubai: The UAE women’s cricket team have strengthened their chance to qualify for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup qualifiers through stunning victories over Nepal and Hong Kong in the ICC World T20 Asian qualifiers being held in Thailand.
Natasha Michael and Esha Oza helped the UAE stun an experienced Nepal team by five runs on Thursday while Nisha Ali’s all-round show ensured the team an eight-wicket victory over Hong Kong on Friday.
The UAE’s win over Nepal was their second victory after they had beaten China in their opening match.
Batting first, the UAE got off to a bad start against Nepal losing opener Subha Venkataraman for a duck and one-drop Roopa Nagraj for two before Natasha and Esha gave them a fighting total.
Esha hit 22 runs off 27 balls with two boundaries while Natasha scored a defiant 23 runs off 47 balls with one boundary.
Nisha Ali with 17 runs and Udeni Dona with an unbeaten seven helped swell the total to 79 for seven in 20 overs.
Chasing the total, Nepal opener Jyoti Pandey began to score quickly but at her score on 12, Ishni Mananelage had her caught by Dona.
Nisha struck twice to remove opener Sarita Magar for seven and also one-drop Indu Barma caught and bowled for a duck.
Kavisha Egodage then had Nary Thapa out for a duck and Nepal slipped into trouble. Though lower order batswoman Ritu Kanoujiya hit a quick 22 runs, UAE women fielded brilliantly to produce two run outs and restricted Nepal to 74 for 9 in the 20 overs.
In the next match, the UAE bowled out Hong Kong for 80 runs in the 20 overs. Their opener Kanwardeep Gill was trapped leg before by Natasha for two but Yasmin Daswani (12) and captain Mariko Hill (10) took the score to 27 before Kavisha removed Daswani and Subha trapped Hill leg before.
Kavisha also ended Marina Lamplough’s defiant knock of 24 while Nisha took two quick wickets to end Hong Kong’s innings. Nisha bagged three wickets for nine runs while Kavisha bagged three wickets for 18 runs.
The UAE openers began their chase brilliantly through Esha and Subha putting on 23 runs in 8.5 overs. Esha hit 20 runs with two boundaries but Subha fell for nine. Dona scored an unbeaten 22 while Nisha hit an unconquered 24 as UAE won the match with two overs to spare. They will now take on Malaysia on Sunday.