Thailand men’s cricket team faced Bhutan in their third match in the ICC World Twenty20 Asia ‘B’ Qualifier at Bayuemas Oval in Kuala Lumpur looking to build on their strong start in the competition and knowing that victory would keep the Thais at the top of the table ahead of Nepal and Singapore.
Bhutan could not be taken lightly as they had beaten Thailand in their most recent contest in Bangkok in February but the Thai side were determined to put the record straight and took control from the start as Mahsid Faheem steamed in with the new ball to send the stumps of both openers flying.
Ziaul Hoque, recalled to the Thai team, kept up the pressure with four steady overs of off-spin and Nopphon Senamontree finished things off nicely with figures of 3 for 18 by virtue of two catches at long-on and a smart stumping.
Bhutan were bowled out for 82 in 19.4 overs but Thailand had few problems in their chase as Daniel Jacobs started with a bright and breezy 25 from 19 balls, allowing newcomer Nick Janes to find his feet and contribute a composed unbeaten 36 from 41 balls to see his side home to victory by 8 wickets with 6.3 overs to spare.
Thailand head the table on five points after three rounds of matches but their biggest test will come on Sunday afternoon when they face Nepal who impressively chased down Malaysia’s total of 100 to also win by eight wickets. The real danger man is mystery spinner Sandeep Lamichhane who claimed five for 20 to show off his undoubted pedigree as Malaysia collapsed from a promising 75 for two.
Nepal have two wins from two matches and Singapore are another strong side who have a similar record of two from two after they outclassed a disappointing China team who could only muster a total of 26 and are yet to bowl more than three overs in any of their three matches.
Thailand will play Nepal and Singapore in their next two contests, so these are exciting times on the cricket field for the Land of Smiles with a place in the Asian Finals of the ICC World Twenty20 coming into sight.