T20 World Cup preview: Thailand

The squad: Sornnarin Tippoch (c), Nattaya Boochatham, Wongpaka Liengprasert, Phannita Maya, Ratanaporn Padunglerd, Onnicha Kamchomphu, Naruemol Chaiwai, Chanida Sutthiruang, Nannapat Koncharoenkai, Soraya Lateh, Rosenanee Kanoh, Thipatcha Puttawong, Suleeporn Laomi, Natthakan Chantham, Suwanan Khiaoto

ICC T20 ranking: 11th

Form line (most recent first): LLWLWLLLWW

The 2018 result: N/A – this is their first tournament

The big question: Can Thailand defy the odds and pick up at least one win in their maiden T20 World Cup appearance? In their 35-match history, they’ve met Bangladesh four times, and India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka once each. Of those, the only team they have defeated is Sri Lanka, while they’ve never met the likes of England, West Indies or South Africa, who are in their group.

ICC Emerging Player of the Year Chanida Sutthiruang // ICC
ICC Emerging Player of the Year Chanida Sutthiruang // ICC

Player to watch: Pace bowler Chanida Sutthiruang was named the ICC Emerging Player of the Year for her key role in her team’s qualification for the World Cup, but the 26-year-old comes with plenty of experience. A product of cricketing academies in Thailand, Sutthiruang made her senior debut in 2012 and has now been her country’s leading bowler for the past seven years. At the qualifiers last year, she collected 12 wickets in five matches, bowling at an economy rate of 4.16.

The X-Factor: Opening batter Nattakan Chantam comes into the tournament in good form, having struck 82no against India A and 60 against Bangladesh in January. Her innings against India A came from just 71 balls, while her efforts against fellow World Cup competitor Bangladesh came in a match where no other player passed 38.

Thailand celebrate after qualifying for the tournament // ICC
Thailand celebrate after qualifying for the tournament // ICC

Don’t be surprised if: Thailand capture the hearts of all those who watch them play in Australia. Not only are they the underdogs who defied the odds and higher-ranked teams to qualify for this tournament, they have made serious sacrifices to their work and family lives in order to make it happen. And if that isn’t enough, the Thailand XI lines up at the end of every game and bows to the crowd, as show of respect.

What captain Sornnarin Tippoch says: “We are playing two champions in England and the West Indies early on but we will treat them as any other game where we try to execute and implement our plans to the best of our abilities. We will approach all games with confidence and trusting our preparations. We haven’t seen too much of the other teams apart from watching them in videos – but every time we have, it’s always been in our dreams to be able to play them some day.”

The overall numbers

Team record: Matches: 35 | Won: 25 | Lost: 10 | Tied: 0 | NR: 0

Highest total: 8-133 v Netherlands, Deventer 2019

Lowest total (completed innings): 8-60 v Bangladesh, Kuala Lumpur 2018

The fixtures

February 22 v West Indies, WACA Ground, 6pm AEDT

February 26 v England, Manuka Oval, 3pm AEDT

February 28 v South Africa, Manuka Oval, 3pm AEDT

March 3 v Pakistan, Sydney Showgrounds, 3pm AEDT

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