China sneaks into cricket semis, Japan wins

Guangzhou: China sneaked into the women’s Twenty20 cricket semifinals with a thrilling one-run victory over Thailand today at the Asian Games.

Thailand needed just six runs off the last over to chase down the target of 94 runs, but offspinner Wu Juan conceded just four to restrict her opponent to 92-6.

China had earlier made 93-6 with Sun Huan - promoted to open the innings - hitting 37 while Yu Miao contributed 12. The Chinese have only been playing cricket for a handful of years, so the result is beyond expectations.

“We have an old saying in Chinese: ‘One should not be afraid of wearing shoes when he is barefoot,” Sun said of sensational win.

“We love playing cricket and we want to conquer our next match as well.”

Thailand opener Pundarika Prathanmitr made splendid 46 off 52 balls, but her dismissal at the total of 77 gave China the chance to hit back.

China will now meet Bangladesh in Thursday’s semifinal.

Japan had a comfortable 45-run win over over Nepal in the last group match, with opener Ema Kuribayashi (63 off 60 balls) posting the first half century of the competition.

Favorites Pakistan will be Japan’s opponents in the other semifinal.

“We clearly know Pakistan is a very tough team,” Ema said.

“Personally I will focus more (on) how to deal with their spinners.”

Japan made 135-4 - the highest total of the event so far - with Ema and Mariko Yamamoto (41) sharing an opening stand of 88 runs.

Nepal could not recover after losing three quick wickets for just 15 runs and managed 90-9 off their 20 overs.

Neera Rajopadhay (37) and Nary Thapa (26) gave Nepal total some respectability. Kurumi Ota (2-16) and Ayako Nakayama (2-24) were the main wicket-takers for Japan.

Bureau Report

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