BAHRAIN suffered a spectacular batting collapse for the second game in a row as they lost their last nine wickets for 28 runs in eight overs to subside to a 46-run defeat to hosts Malaysia yesterday in their third Group A game of the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier in Kuala Lumpur.
This came on the heels of a 10-wicket thumping by Nepal two days earlier after Bahrain were bowled out for only 31.
Having put Malaysia in to bat after captain Deepika Rasangika won the toss for the second successive time, the hosts were held in check by a disciplined performance by the Bahraini bowlers as they slumped to 37 for three in the ninth over with Sadamali Bhakshala, Tharanga Gajanayke and Pavithra Shetty snapping up a wicket each.
But, after Bahrain’s Swarna Nunna also got her name up in the wickets’ column with Malaysia now 43 for four in the 10th over, Mas Elysa, with a run-a-ball 54, and Aina Najwa, with a 21-ball 20, combined in an unbroken 65-run stand for the fifth wicket to push their team’s total to what seemed to be a below par 108 for four off 20 overs.
In reply, Bahrain appeared to be coasting when, after losing Gajanayke at six for one in the third over, Rasangika started to dominate the Malaysian bowlers in a 28-run second-wicket stand off only 37 balls with Rasika Rodrigo.
But Rodrigo’s dismissal for four with the score 32 for two sparked a procession as Abeera Waris, Ishara Suhun, Nunna and Prajna Jagdeesha all came and went without troubling the scorers as Bahrain slumped to 44 for six in the 11th over with Rasangika watching helplessly from the other end.
Shetty managed to stem the rot but, after contributing six in a seven-run stand, also perished to leave Bahrain staring at a certain defeat but with Rasangika their last remaining hope.
Unfortunately, after adding only nine more runs with Shashikala Prakash (one not out), Rasangika fell to an off-break from Mahirah Izzati Ismail for 34 with Bahrain now 60 for eight in the 14th over and completely out of the game.
Nine balls later, it was all over with wicket-keeper Ashwini Govinda registering the fifth duck of the innings two deliveries after Rasangika’s dismissal and Bhakshala falling for one in the next over with Bahrain bowled out for a dismal 62 and Aisya Eleesa, the pick of the Malaysian bowlers, finishing with three for 21 off her four overs.
The kingdom’s team are now virtually out of the race for the semi-final after their second defeat in three games, after having begun the tournament with a five-wicket win over Qatar. Bahrain are now fifth in the six-team table with two points and two games left – the first of which will take place today against leaders UAE who have six points after winning three games on the trot.
Nepal also have six points after three consecutive victories but are in second position because of net run-rate (NRR) while Malaysia, who had lost their first two games, have leap-frogged Bahrain and Bhutan to settle in third place because of NRR with all three teams tied on two points each.
Qatar, who have lost all three of their games thus far, languish at the bottom of the table with no points.
Hong Kong lead the five-team Group B table with six points from three consecutive wins while Thailand are in second place with two successive victories and four points.
Scoreboard: Malaysia 108 for four in 20 overs (Mas Elysa 54 not out, Pavithra Shetty 1/18) beat Bahrain 62 all out in 16.4 overs (Deepika Rasangika 34, Aisya Eleesa 3/21) by 46 runs.