Making their first appearance at a Women’s World T20 Qualifier, the United Arab Emirates showed they are here to do much more than make up the numbers as they stunned the Netherlands with a six-wicket win.
Elsewhere, the formbook was largely stuck to, as Ireland comfortably defeated Thailand, Bangladesh cruised past PNG, and Scotland crushed Uganda to lay down a marker.
Netherlands v United Arab Emirates
The UAE defeated tournament hosts the Netherlands in a thriller at Kampong. It was a tale of two batters as Nisha Ali’s half-century trumped an unbeaten 88 from Sterre Kallis.
Kallis’ knock had helped lift her side to a hefty 137 for three, though the UAE kept the total in check thanks to spells of two for 18 from slow left-armer Heena Hotchandani and from Nisha (none for 17), who enjoyed an excellent all-round day.
The Netherlands started their defence well, with the UAE needing 8.50 runs per over at one point. It was then that Nisha started attacking, and between her and Chaya Mughal (36), brought the UAE back into the game.
Nisha eventually fell for a 59-ball 69 to Caroline de Fouw, whose third over saw two wickets fall and cost just five, setting up a tense finish, with 18 runs required off the last two overs.
There were missed run-outs, risky singles, and swings of fortune galore. In the end, it was the UAE who held their nerve as former Sri Lankan international Chamani Seneviratne swept the fourth ball of the 20th over to the fence to spark scenes of jubilation among the UAE squad.
The UAE’s Nisha Ali, who was the Player of the Match, said: “It was an important game, we wanted to start the tournament with a win. I am very happy as I believe our team is good at chasing and today we proved it. Our team spirit is tremendous; the way we have been playing is so good to see. The team is very happy for me as they wanted me to perform, if I chip in with runs it is very important. We have an important game tomorrow and we will focus on that.”
Ireland v Thailand
A solid performance from Ireland with bat and ball saw them record a victory over Thailand. Lucy O’Reilly led the way with the ball, dismissing Nattaya Boochantham (41) to end a stubborn partnership of 54 for the second wicket after Isobel Joyce had struck with the day’s second delivery.
O’Reilly took two further wickets as Ireland applied the squeeze, restricting them to 92 for seven.
Clare Shillington led the way with the bat, striking a 32-ball 38 which included the tournament’s first six.
Two wickets in two balls from Thailand captain Sornnarin Tippoch, who ended with superb figures of 3 for 12, momentarily sparked hopes of a comeback, but Irish captain Laura Delany and Isobel Joyce added the requisite 29 to complete a comfortable seven-wicket victory with 22 balls to spare.
Ireland’s Clare Shillington, who was Player of the Match said: “I was very pleased with my performance, I hit it nice and straight. I was sad not to do the job and take us home, but Isobel did well and took us home nice and comfortably in the end. Looking ahead, we were under par in the field, I think we can do a lot better against the Scots tomorrow which we will be aiming to do. It’s the first game of a long tournament and we will be looking to come good at the back end.’
Bangladesh vs Papua New Guinea
Bangladesh confirmed their status as tournament favourites with a resounding victory over Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The Asia Cup champions restricted their opponents to 84 with an excellent bowling display. Late cameos from Tanya Ruma (23) and Veru Frank (27) helped PNG avoid an even lower total having been pegged back to 45 for five after 15 overs.
Panna Ghosh was the pick of the bowlers for Bangladesh with two for 15. In reply, it was plain sailing as PNG’s bowlers toiled away to little avail.
Shamima Sultana’s 35 from the top of the order did the majority of the work, while supporting knocks from Fargana Hoque (17 not out) and Ayasha Rahman (15) helped Bangladesh cruise to victory with eight wickets to spare inside 15 overs.
Bangladesh’s Shamima Sultana, who was Player of the Match, said: “I was happy with my performance today, it was very good for the team. We batted very well as a team today and that definitely was the most important aspect of the win.”
Scotland vs Uganda
A superb display from Scotland saw them brush aside Uganda in a game that lasted just 22.2 overs. Scotland won the toss and put Uganda in to bat, and were on top from the very beginning.
A wicket in the first over from captain Kathryn Byrce set the tone and Uganda found themselves struggling at 15 for six after 7.2 overs. A 24-run stand between Gertrude Candiru and Kevin Awino staved off the tumble of wickets temporarily, but they still could only manage to compile a total of 43, with Abtaha Maqsood claiming three tail-end wickets with her leg-spin bowling.
The Scottish made short shrift of the chase, reaching their target with nine wickets and 79 balls to spare. Sarah Bryce made 36 from 23 balls to help chase the small target down in 6.5 overs.
Player of the Match, Scotland’s Rachel Scholes was delighted with today’s match: “I was most happy about putting into practice the skills I have been working on all winter and to pull it off in an important game like this was very pleasing. Taking the momentum as a team into tomorrow’s match and using that to keep going forward is very good for us.”
Scores in brief:
Scotland beat Uganda by nine wickets at VRA, Amstelveen
Uganda, 43 all out, 15.3 overs (Kevin Awino 13; Rachel Scholes 3-3) Scotland, 47-1, 6.5 overs (Sarah Bryce 36; Joyce Mary Apio 1-7)
Ireland beat Thailand by seven wickets at Kampong, Utrecht
Thailand, 92-7, 20 overs (Nattaya Boochatham 41; Lucy O’Reilly 3-23) Ireland, 93-3 ,16.2 overs (Clare Shillington 38, Isobel Joyce 15 not out; Sornnarin Tippoch 3-12)
Bangladesh beat PNG by eight wickets at VRA, Amstelveen
PNG, 84-6, 20 overs (Veru Kila Frank 27, Tanya Ruma 23 not out; Panna Ghosh 2-15) Bangladesh, 86-2, 14.5 overs (Shamima Sultana 35, Fargana Hoque 17 not out)
The UAE beat the Netherlands by six wickets at Kampong, Utrecht
Netherlands 137-3, 20 overs (Sterre Kalis 88 not out, Denise Hannema 23; Heena Hotchandani 2-18) UAE 138-4,19.4 overs (Nisha Ali 69, Chaya Mughal 36; MEC de Fouw 3-31)