Thinley Namgay 

The fate of Bhutanese women’s national cricket team advancing to the quarterfinals of the ongoing ACC Women’s Premiere Cup in Malaysia will depend on if the team can maintain its excellent form against Hong Kong today.

Today’s match is expected to be challenging as Hong Kong is a competent team. Hong Kong ranks 22nd in the world, and Bhutan stands at 43rd. In the 2022 ACC Women’s T20 Championship in Malaysia, Hong Kong defeated Bhutan by 14 runs.

However, team Bhutan is optimistic for the game. Bhutan also defeated team Hong Kong by nine runs at the ASEAN Women’s T20 Open Tournament 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.

As of yesterday, Bhutan and Hong Kong from Group D acquired two points each from two games.

There are 16 countries divided into four groups. From each group of four teams, two teams will qualify for the quarterfinals.

Bhutan Cricket’s Chief Executive Officer Damber S Gurung said, “Ranking-wise, Hong Kong is ahead of Bhutan, and they also have more international exposure. But it doesn’t mean that Bhutan will not beat them. It’s all about playing a good game today.”

On February 11, Bhutan suffered a defeat against Nepal in their second game, losing by eight wickets.

Nepal won the toss and chose to field. Bhutan managed to acquire 65 runs with the loss of four wickets in 20 overs. In response, Nepal’s women fulfilled their target in just 11.5 overs, losing two wickets in the process.

During the opening game on February 10, Bhutan secured victory with a 94-run lead against the Maldives. On February 11, Hong Kong also won against the Maldives by a staggering 172 runs.

From Group D comprising Bhutan, Nepal, Hong Kong, and the Maldives, Nepal advanced to the quarterfinals.

Thailand booked the quarterfinals from Group A against Myanmar, Kuwait, and Singapore.

While Japan and the United Arab Emirates entered the quarterfinals from Group B and Malaysia from Group C.