Teenage sensation inspires Zimbabwe Women to another victory
Thailand Women – 86-6 in 20 overs (Nannapat Koncharoenka 47*, Chanida Sutthiruang 13, Phannita Maya 12*; Nomvelo Sibanda 2/12, Audrey Masvishaya 2/14, Kelis Ndlovu 1/12)
Zimbabwe Women – 87-4 in 16.4 overs (Kelis Ndlovu 46, Sharne Mayers 19, Modester Mupachikwa 8*; Thipatcha Putthawong 1/12, Onnicha Kamchomphu 1/13, Rosenan Kanoh 1/15)
Zimbabwe Women won by six wickets
Sixteen-year-old Kelis Ndlovu turned in another impressive all-round performance as Zimbabwe Women made it two wins in as many matches at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2022 after defeating Thailand Women by six wickets in a Group B fixture played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
After helping to restrict Thailand Women to 86 for six in 20 overs by claiming one scalp for only 12 runs in the three overs that she bowled, the teenage sensation then took charge of the chase with a brilliant knock of 46, scored off 40 balls with a single six and six fours.
Having opted to bat first, Thailand Women were soon at sixes and sevens as wickets tumbled in quick succession, losing five of their batters within the first seven overs.
First to go was Natthakan Chantham, bowled for a single run by Nomvelo Sibanda with nine runs on the board in the third over.
In the following over, they were down to 13 for two after Nattaya Boochatham (2) gave a return catch to Josephine Nkomo.
Sibanda then removed Onnicha Kamchomphu before Audrey Mazvishaya quickly dispatched Naruemol Chaiwai (3) and Sornnarin Tippoch (0) back to the dugout to leave Thailand Women reeling at 26 for five after exactly seven overs.
Opening batter Nannapat Koncharoenkai was however still there and she together with Chanida Sutthiruang appeared to be getting their innings back on track, batting cautiously to keep the marauding Zimbabwe Women bowlers at bay.
That was until Ndlovu bowled Sutthiruang for a 28-ball 13, ending their 22-run stand that came off 47 deliveries.
Koncharoenkai however remained unbeaten on 47 as the Thailand Women innings closed at 86 for six in their 20 overs, with Phannita Maya on 12 not out on the other end.
There were two wickets each for Sibanda and Mazvishaya, while Precious Marange returned the most economical figures with only nine runs coming off her four wicket-less overs.
Chasing 87 for victory, Zimbabwe Women got off to a brisk start with Ndlovu and Sharne Mayers knocking off half the target within the first five overs.
Their opening stand was worth 51 runs and was only broken in the eighth over, Mayers departing after scoring 19, with three fours, off 22 balls.
Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano faced 11 deliveries before she was out lbw for five – 66 for two in the 11th over.
Six more runs were added to the total before Ndlovu’s magnificent innings finally came to an end, falling just four runs short of what would have been a well-deserved half-century.
She had faced 40 deliveries, hammering one six and six fours, leaving Zimbabwe Women now needing 15 runs from 40 balls.
The captain, Mary-Anne Musonda, struggled to get going and only made one run off seven balls before she was dismissed off the penultimate delivery of the 15th over, the score now being 74 for four.
Modester Mupachikwa, with eight not out, and Pellagia Mujaji, five not out, then safely took Zimbabwe Women home by six wickets with 20 balls to spare.
After her brilliant performance with bat and ball, Ndlovu was duly named the player of the match.
Zimbabwe Women, topping the standings with maximum points from their two matches, will face the United Arab Emirates Women in their last Group B game on Wednesday.