Nepal Women’s cricket has been ever-evolving and on the rise in recent times. Many talented Nepali females have secured the chance to show their hidden potential by featuring in franchise-based cricket. As a result, over a brief period, it helped them to better their skills and reap rewards for the nation in international cricket as well. In the ongoing ACC Women’s T20 Premier Cup 2024, the mountain nation showed its cricketing prowess by humbling Maldives by a massive 215-run margin. However, the rising star Rubina Chhetry garnered immense limelight for her historic knock which helped her side to storm into the quarterfinals of the competition.

Notably, in the game played at the UKM Cricket Oval in Bangi on Tuesday, February 13, Nepal took advantage of their home conditions after the coin toss spun in their favour. Skipper Indu Barma elected to bat first but in the initial stages of the game, it seemed like the decision had backfired. However, Chhetry took charge with the bat as she entered the crease when Nepal were staring down the barrel with the score reading 48/3 on the board. Maldives’ bowlers were looking good as they had early wickets of openers in the experienced veteran player, Sita Rana Magar (15 off 11 balls), and Kabita Kunwar (13 off 10 balls). Thereafter, they kept the pressure on and dismissed skipper Indu Barma for a duck inside 2.3 overs of gameplay.

But Rubina Chhetry played a blazing knock and etched her name in the history books as she became the first woman to score a century (118* off 59 balls) for Nepal and remained unbeaten till the end of the innings. Furthermore, she also claimed the record for the highest individual score which earlier belonged to Sita Rana Magar (82*). During her blitzkrieg, the 30-year-old smashed 10 fours and 5 sixes, respectively. Courtesy of her knock and Puja Mahato‘s unbeaten fifty (59* off 36 balls), Nepal finished with a mammoth total of 228 runs on the board in their 20-ver quota. As a result, they equalled their previous highest-ever total after losing just four wickets.

In response, Maldives seemed too feeble and were routed by Nepal completely. In bowling as well, Rubina Chhetry did not show any mercy on the island nation’s batters and picked up a 3-wicket haul. Consequently, Maldives got folded for just 13 runs which led Nepal to register their highest winning margin.

Interestingly enough, during her marathon knock, Rubina Chhetry also became the highest individual scorer while playing at the number 4 position or a lower batting order in the history of the women’s T20Is. She surpassed the likes of Aysha (113*), West Indies legend Deandra Dottin (110*), Fargana Hoque (110*) and England legend Heather Knight (108*), respectively.

Check out Rubina Chhettry’s historical century moment here:

Six Maldives batters dismissed for duck, tournament winner to qualify for Women’s Asia Cup

Speaking of the run chase, Maldives had a horrendous time with the bat and it can be understood by the fact that six batters of the side failed to even open their account. Moreover, the whole side took 13 overs to score as many runs which tells the story of Nepal’s bowling wrath. Besides, not a single batter was able to score in single digits for Maldives.

Also Read: Why is Nepal Cricket Team known as ‘Cardiac Kids’?

After this win, Nepal cruised on to the knockout round of the ACC Women’s T20 Premier Cup 2024 by topping their group with three points as they continued their winning streak in as many matches. When it comes to their group, Nepal are slotted in Group ‘D’ with countries- Hong Kong, Bhutan, and Maldives. It is vital to mention that the winning side and the runners-up of the tournament will earn a direct qualification to the ACC Women’s Asia Cup slated to be held later this year in July. While the four semifinalists in the 16-team event will book their berth for the ACC Women’s Emerging Asia Cup which will take place next year.

Also Read: Rubina Chhetry etches her name in history after historic five-for against Sapphires

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