Bhutan suffers narrow defeat to Indonesia in ACC Men’s Challenger 2024

In a gripping encounter at the ACC Men’s T20I Challenger 2024 held in Thailand, Bhutan’s cricket team faced a challenging battle against Indonesia.

Despite a valiant effort, Bhutan fell short by a mere 16 runs against Indonesia, in a match that kept the spectators on the edge of their seats. The match commenced at 12:50 pm BST at Terdthai Cricket Ground in Thailand. Bhutan won the toss and took bowling in the first innings.

In the first Innings, Indonesia posted a total of 132/7 in 20 overs. Batter Kirubasankar Ramamoorthy scored 36 runs off 25 balls and Anjar Tadarus contributed 32 runs off 30 balls.

Bowlers Tenzin Wangchuk took 3 wickets conceding 22 runs in his 4 overs and Suprit Pradhan claimed 1 wicket while giving away 16 runs in his 4 overs.

In the second Innings, Bhutan concluded their innings with a total of 116/10 in 19.4 overs. Batter Suprit Pradhan scored 28 runs from 20 balls and batter Thinley Jamtsho contributed 23 runs from 11 balls.

Bowler Maxi Koda took 2 wickets conceding 12 runs in his 4 overs. Bowler Ferdinando Banunaek also claimed 2 wickets while giving away 17 runs in his 3 overs.

The nail-biting clash show cased Bhutan’s resilience and determination, underscoring their competitive spirit on the international cricketing stage. Though outcome favored Indonesia, Bhutan’s performance signaled their growing prowess and commitment to cricket’s global landscape.

The team’s coach affirms that keeping the match’s result in consideration, the team’s overall performance was commendable, with both batters and bowlers contributing effectively. However, he added that they needed to focus on improving their fielding to prevent giving away extra runs.

The coach said, “Additionally, optimizing our strategy during the power play will be crucial in the upcoming matches.”

By addressing these areas, the team is confident that they will bounce back stronger in the next game.

The ACC Men’s T20I Challenger Cup 2024 that commenced on 27 January in Bangkok, Thailand, represents the second installment of the ACC Men’s Challenger Cup, overseen by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). The tournament holds significant importance as it contributes to the qualification pathway for the Asia Cup 2025.

The two leading teams emerging from the Acc Men’s T20I Challenger Cup 2024 will secure berths in the 2024 Acc men’s Premier Cup, serving the ultimate stage for qualification for the Asia Cup 2025.

With a lineup comprising 10 teams, the tournament is set to see 22 matches played out across a fortnight.

According to Bhutan Cricket Council Board, the Men’s National team had moved from Thimphu towards Thailand on 30 January, and had a first match against Indonesia on 1 February.

The Board shared the team went through rigorous training for more than two months at Thimphu Indoor Cricket Academy, Gelephu International Cricket Ground and Mangaldai sport in Assam.

Coach Tenzin said, “The primary purpose of these matches was to help the players adapt to the weather conditions and the pitch.”

Furthermore, Coach Kencho highlighted that during their practices, they focused on individual skills, team coordination, and match strategies to ensure optimal performance in the ACC Men’s Challenger Cup.

The team, including coaches and the players said the match’s main objective is to reach the finals, as that would qualify them for the Premier Cup, which is scheduled to take place in June 2024 and following that, they would look forward to Asia Cup 2025.

“The team views the competition in the ACC Men’s Challenger Cup seriously, acknowledging its significance compared to other tournaments. We understand that strong performances from all players are crucial for the victory,” said the Coach.

The vice captain Rangjung Mikiyo Dorji opened up about the difficulty in adapting to the temperature in Thailand. Due to abrupt exposure to a totally opposite atmosphere from Thimphu, some of the players caught the cold and fever.

The team shared, their successful tour in Assam before going to Thailand has prepared them for the big moment, and they are going to wisely implement them throughout the league despite the loss in their first match.

Coach Tenzin gave insights into their experiences of the 2018 Eastern Region Cup held in the same ground where the ACC Men’s Challenger 2024 league has been taking place. They had been victorious in the finals against Thailand. He said that their past victory has boosted the boys’ confidences.

Bhutan Cricket team had a second match with Saudi Arabia on 3 February at 8:30 am BST which it lost. It has third match with Cambodia on 5 February at 12:50 BST.

Bhutan has to win in these two matches for them to secure position in the semi-finals. As per the Bhutan Cricket Federation leader Damber S Gurung, to hold a place in the semi finals, Bhutan will have to play the fourth match namely ‘position match’ if they disqualify for the semi-finals.

The players and the coaches relayed their message to their supporters that they went there not only to participate, but also to reach the finals and win the tournament. Therefore, as representatives of Bhutan, they request the supporters back home and in other countries to offer prayers for their victory. They expressed their determination to give their best in Thailand. They seek continuous support and encouragement, emphasizing that success in cricket is a collective effort.

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