West Indies women relieved after ‘tricky’ Thailand opener

By By ICC February 22, 2020
West Indies women's openers Lee Ann Kirby (left) and Hayley Matthews walk out to meet Thailand in their Women's T20 World Cup opener. West Indies women's openers Lee Ann Kirby (left) and Hayley Matthews walk out to meet Thailand in their Women's T20 World Cup opener. Photo courtesy of the ICC

Stafanie Taylor says West Indies are breathing a collective sigh of relief after surviving a scare against Thailand in their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup opener in Perth.

Taylor’s side beat the tournament debutants by seven wickets in the first game to be held at the WACA Ground, but the win was not as flattering as the scorecard may suggest.

West Indies looked to be on their way to a comfortable victory when restricting their opponents to 78 for nine from the full 20 overs.

But Thailand’s impressive fielding display saw three quick wickets fall before the seventh over – including that of the dangerous Deandra Dottin – to set the nerves racing in the dugout.

“It wasn’t great seeing our wickets fall so early, but I’m relieved I can smile now,” said captain Taylor after scoring 26 not out and taking 3-13 to lead the way for the West Indies women.

“It’s tricky to play a team like Thailand who we have never played before. You have to spend a little bit of time at the crease getting used to their bowlers and we didn’t do that properly at the start of our innings.

“They gave us some nervous moments. Their bowling attack can definitely cause some trouble at this year’s World Cup.

“They have some really good bowlers and I think in a few years’ time, they will be giving teams challenges.”

They may have underperformed at the crease but debutants Thailand produced a moment for the tournament highlight reel from the field with Naruemol Chaiwai producing a direct hit to run out Lee-Ann Kirby and claim her country’s first Women’s T20 World Cup wicket.

Teenager Nannapat Khoncharoenkai top-scored with the bat with 33 from 48 balls but opener Nattaya Boochatam, who was caught early for two, knows her side can’t be relying on the middle-order in future outings.

“We know we could have had a chance if we’d got more runs on the board,” said Boochatam.

“We scored too few today, but we think our performance will make people take us more seriously.

“It has given us motivation to do better and show we can compete on the global stage. It’s been a long time waiting and we are so excited to be out on the ground at a World Cup.”

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