Stafanie Taylor’s all-around class helped West Indies survive a fright against debutant Thailand at the start of the 2020 ICC women’s T20 World Cup in Perth.
Thailand was the first to hit first in its global debut but struggled for a strong goal at WACA. The youthful goalkeeper Nannapat Khoncharoenkai was able to strengthen and anchor the innings with 33 of 48 balls.
Captain Taylor kept their Group B opponents at 78/9 with their three gates, but Thailand’s field strength came to the fore when Lee-Ann Kirby, Hayley Matthews, and Deandra Dottin all left before the seventh to suggest a surprise.
However, Taylor and Shemaine Campbelle remained firm, and their undefeated fourth Wicket partnership of 53 sealed the win.
Thailand was quickly disturbed by the WACA pace when Nattaya Boochatham was caught in the middle in front of Chinelle Henry while Shamila Connell left the other opener, Natthakan Chatham, behind.
After restricting the debutants to 12/2 in four overs, he continued for the third time in a row, and Khoncharoenkai soon found her groove when she pulled a full throw to the limit.
It was an impressive yet calm performance by the 19-year-old that stabilized the innings of the third wicket, but her 35-year partnership with Naruemol Chaiwai (13) ended after seven overs when Aaliyah Alleyne caught the latter in the middle of Anisa Mohammed.
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Matthews took her first scalp when she let Chanida Sutthiruang catch and bowled for 3 while Taylor fired Sornnarin Tippoch for only 1.
The gates fell around Khoncharoenkai, and Taylor took a second as Kirby dove in and Onnicha Kamchomphu – in 7th place – drove for a duck.
With two overs left, Khoncharoenkai tried to improve the balance sheet and surpass an Afy Fletcher delivery, but Kirby, who played in her first international game in 12 years, brought yet another impressive catch for her right to dismiss Thailand’s curb.
The West Indies were hit early on the hunt for 79 when Kirby’s international comeback ended prematurely. Chaiwai produced the game of the day with a quick shot and a direct hit to win their country’s first T20 World Cup wicket for women.
That moment was a spark for Thailand. Soraya Lateh sneaked a second wicket as she played Matthews, who was playing across the line, for her first international victim for 16 bowling.
It was even better for Tippoch’s team when Dule von Suleeporn Laomi left the race to go to the West Indies on March 27/3. To leave.
But Taylor (26 *) brought West Limits to 50 with three borders, and Campbelle (25 *) swept three of their own to lead their country to their first WT20I win in nine games and an opening win in Group B.