Despite lackluster batting performance, Nepal began ACC Women’s Twenty20 Championship with a 21-run win over Thailand at KEC, Kuwait.

Nepal chose to bat first but was bowled out for 75 in 18.4 overs with only a couple of players reaching double-digit runs. Nepal however bowled brilliantly to end Thai innings at 54 in 18.1 runs.

Naroman Srisuwan bowled a brilliant first over bowling out both openers Manisha Rawal and Sita Magar to give Thai early advantage. Rashi Sharma too followed soon without scoring as Nepal went down to 5/3 in 2 overs.

Nary Thapa and Janaki Bhatta partnered 37-runs for fifth wicket to revive Nepal’s innings after Sarita Magar (2) and Neera Rajopadhyay (7) too failed to stay long.

Janaki topscored for Nepal with 25 in 19 balls with five fours before falling to N Khonchan. Nary got 10 off 18 balls with two fours. Little contribution also came from Madhu Thapa (5), Rubina Chhetri (4), Karuna Bhandari (4) and Mamta Thapa (3). Thai bowlers gave away 15 extras.

“After three early wickets, there was pressure on batswomen,” Nepal’s coach Arun Aryal said. “But Janaki batted well to take team to a defendable total.”

Thailand struggled to score runs against Nepali bowlers despite not losing wickets and the pressure of run-rates put them under pressure.

Captain Soennarin Tippoch topscored with 15 off 31 balls while Phira-on Kamla scored 13 off 12 down the order but it was too late. Karuna Bhandari led the bowling with 3/12 in 4 overs while Sarita Magar grabbed 2/8 in her four.

Rubina Chhetri and Rashmi Sharma claimed a wicket each. Janaki won man of the match award.

Nepal will meet UAE on Feburary 19.