Thailand Women – 104-4 in 20 overs (Nannapat Koncharoenkai 62*, Chanida Sutthiruang 33*, Natthakan Chantham 6; Christabel Chatonzwa 2/18, Josephine Nkomo 1/17, Audrey Mazvishaya 1/24)
Zimbabwe Women – 107-9 in 19.3 overs (Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 30, Modester Mupachikwa 29, Chiedza Dhururu 15; Onnicha Kamchomphu 3/18, Nattaya Boochatham 3/18, Suleeporn Laomi 2/22)
Zimbabwe Women won by one wicket
Zimbabwe Women hung on like they would for dear life, squeezing home by one wicket in a thrilling finish to their first T20I against Thailand Women at Takashinga on Friday.
The match could have gone either way, with the home side requiring two runs and the hosts needing a wicket off the final over.
Nomvelo Sibanda however showed nerves of steel to hit a boundary that sealed victory for Zimbabwe Women with three balls to spare.
Perhaps the match would not have been that close had the hosts not suffered an alarming collapse, sliding from a commanding position of 72 for two in the 13th over to 80 for eight within the next four overs.
After being put in to bat first, Thailand Women were in all sorts of trouble by the ninth over, four wickets down with only 29 runs on the board.
However, Nannapat Koncharoenkai and Chanida Sutthiruang combined well to repair the damage as they shared an unbeaten 75-run stand to close their innings at 104 for four.
Koncharoenkai hit nine boundaries on her way to 62 not out, having faced 53 deliveries.
On the other end, Sutthiruang remained standing with 33, a 37-ball effort that included two fours.
Christabel Chatonzwa finished with two wickets, while Josephine Nkomo and Audrey Mazvishaya claimed one apiece.
Zimbabwe Women’s chase got off to a shaky start, with Ashley Ndiraya getting trapped lbw in in the first over before she could get off the mark.
They were soon back on track though, with Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano and Modester Mupachikwa contributing 30 and 29 respectively to swing the pendulum in the home side’s favour.
The dismissal of the two however signalled the beginning of a wobble, with the captain Mary Anne-Musonda (8), Precious Marange (1), Josephine Nkomo (3), Loryn Phiri (0) and Chatonzwa (1) falling in quick succession to leave Zimbabwe Women reeling at 80 for eight after 16.1 overs.
But Chiedza Dhururu chipped in with a valuable 15 to keep them in the game together with Sibanda, who finished with 11 not out as the team crossed the line with three balls remaining.
Zimbabwe Women and Thailand Women will face off again in the second T20I scheduled for the same venue on Saturday.