KATHMANDU, Jan 24: Nepal started the ACC Women´s Cricket Championship campaign with an emphatic eight-wicket victory over Bhutan on Thursday.
Nepal elected to field and restricted Bhutan to 65/8 in allotted 25 overs at the Prem Oval, Thailand. In chasing the low total, Nepal reached 68/2 in 13.4 overs.
Bhutanese girls, except Dechen Wangmo, surrendered to Nepali bowlers and kept on losing wickets in regular interval. Nepali captain Rubina Chhetri bowled out opener Sonam Pelden (naught) and trapped another opener Ugyen Dema (five runs) lbw to limit Bhutan to 12/2 in 5.4 overs.
For the third wicket Bhutanese pair Wangmo and Yeshey Choden (seven runs) put up a 16-run partnership, the highest of the innings. Sarita Magar dismissed Choden in the fourth ball of the 14th over.
Nepali bowling attack dominated the innings but Wangmo remained unbeaten with 23 runs. Neera Rajopadhyay claimed two wickets for Nepal while Nary Thapa and Karuna Bhandari took a wicket each.
In chasing the low score, Nepal suffered an early blow as it lost opener Madhu Thapa (one run) in the last ball of the second over. Yeshey Choden caught Thapa in Sonam Choden´s bowling.
However, opener Sita Magar and Roshani Bohara put up a 28-run partnership for the second wicket. Bohara scored 19 runs off 18 balls before Yeshey Wangmo caught her off in the fifth ball of the seventh over. Bohara struck three boundaries.
Sarita Magar joined Sita Magar on the crease and the pair put up a 37-run partnership to seal easy victory. Sita scored unbeaten 18 runs off 35 balls including a boundary while Sarita remained not out with 11 runs off 22 balls.
Nepali captain Chhetri, who took two wickets, was adjudged player-of-the-match.
Bhutan has defeated Malaysia by 32 runs on Wednesday but it was the first match of the Nepali team in the tournament. Nepal will take on the UAE on Friday.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong beat Malaysia by 21 runs on Thursday in the match of group A, which includes Nepal, Bhutan and the UAE. In group B matches, China thrashed Singapore by nine wickets and Thailand crushed Kuwait by 10 wickets on Thursday.
The winner of the championship will qualify for the ICC Women´s World T20 Qualifiers to be held in Ireland in August.