Vol. VII No. 52 - Tuesday
December 23 - December 29, 2008

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by Saichon Paewsoongnern

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Thailand U-19 girls through to semi-finals

Thailand U-19 girls through to semi-finals

Thailand’s No. 9 Pimpika Jindam hits the winning runs
in a thriller against Hong Kong. (Photo/Asian Cricket Council)

CMM Reporters
Thailand qualified for the semi-finals of the ACC U-19 women’s cricket tournament last week after providing some thrilling performances in front of the home crowds in Chiang Mai. The tournament got underway on Saturday, December 13 at the Prem Oval and the Chiang Mai Gymkhana with a total of 11 Asian teams from The U.A.E., Oman, Qatar, Hong Kong, Nepal, Malaysia, Singapore, Kuwait, China and Bhutan and Thailand all taking part.

Thai bowler Pornthiva Olarakchat took 4 wickets and was voted the ‘player of the match’ against Hong Kong. (Photo/Asian Cricket Council)
The young Thai women got off to a perfect start on Day 1 when they defeated Qatar by 5 wickets, this after a nervous opening in which the Thai bowlers gave away 30 runs in extras, including 20 wides and 10 no balls. Some smart fielding by the home side however enabled them to restrict their opponents to a total of just 74, and despite losing some early wicket s in reply, a fine 33 n.o. from left hander Siwaporn Kosathong saw the Thai team home with 8 overs to spare.
Next up for the Thai girls was a game against the U.A.E., a contest which went down to the last ball with the home side needing four to tie and six to win. Nathakan Chantam managed to score only two, resulting in a defeat by just two runs.
The U.A.E. had racked up 100 in their innings, again helped by some generous Thai bowling with some 41 extras and 29 wides conceded. Sasikarn Eoothpall and captain Naruemol Chaiwai shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 62 for the home side but they were always behind the run rate and fell just the 3 runs short of victory.
Another nail-biter was to follow last Tuesday at the Gymkhana ground when Thailand took on Hong Kong in their third match. Winning the toss and opting to field first, the Thai bowlers showed much more control of line and length with only 22 extras conceded in a modest Hong Kong total of 76 all out from 22.1 overs.
In reply, Thailand lost wickets at regular intervals as the fortunes of both sides swung one way and then the other. At the start of the 21st over Thailand stood on 74-9 with 3 runs still required. A first ball no ball was followed by a cracking hook shot by Pimpika to the boundary which saw the crowd and the whole Thai team erupt in joyous celebration.
Needing just one more win to be sure of qualification, the Thai girls were in no mood for any heroics the following day as they scored a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over Oman at the Prem. None of the Omani girls were able to break into double figures in a low total of 57, and the Thai top order knocked off the required runs in just 9.3 overs.
At press time, Thailand were likely to take on tournament favourites Nepal at the Gymkhana ground in the first of the semi-finals on Monday. Depending on that result they will either play in the final at 10 a.m. at the Prem Oval on Tuesday morning, December 23, or a loss will see them play in the third/fourth place playoff match at the Gymkhana ground, also on Tuesday, at 1:50 p.m. Check out the official website at www. asiancricket.org for all the latest results.
Wherever your allegiances lie, why come down to the Prem Oval and the Gymkhana ground on Tuesday to cheer on all the young ladies in this fabulous one of a kind tournament. A full report of the finals day will be included in next week’s Chiang Mai Mail.

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