THE United Arab Emirates ended Malaysia's unbeaten start at the ACC Women's T20 Championship with a 31-run win at the UKM Oval in Bangi today to move to the top of Group A.
The victory was never in doubt for UAE, the highest-ranked side in the 10-team tournament at 14th in the ICC's women's T20I rankings, who are favourites to claim one of two berths available for qualification to the Women's Twenty20 Asia Cup in Bangladesh this October.
UAE reached 134 for one in 20 overs as Theertha Satish compiled an unbeaten 52 after forming a 72-run partnership with Esha Oza and a 62-run stand with Kavisha Egodage (45 not out).
Mas Elysa Yasmin Zulkifli captured the only UAE wicket to fall when she dismissed Esha for 26, but Malaysia could only compile 101 runs for the loss of eight wickets in 20 overs.
Captain Winifred Duraisingam (seven) was run out in the third over in a blow for Malaysia as fellow opener Wan Julia Wan Rosli (seven) then threw her wicket away to leave the hosts at 19-2.
Elsa Hunter and Mas Elysa put on 53 runs for the third wicket before Elsa, who had survived two dropped catches, was run out going for a second run after scoring 34 and stroking three boundaries from 33 deliveries.
Elsa's wicket was the first of three to fall in the 14th over as Indhuja Nandakumar (4-10) followed up to dismiss Ainna Hamzah Hashim and Arianna Natasya Benn Rakquidean for nought before collecting two more wickets in the 16th over, including that of Mas Elysa, given out leg-before for 34 runs with five fours from 31 balls.
Winifred hopes Malaysia, with two wins from three matches, will return stronger at the Kinrara Oval on Wednesday tomorrow in an attempt to beat Oman and qualify for the semi-finals.
"Elsa and Mas Elysa built a partnership, but the wicket was lost due to a minor miscommunication," said Winifred.
"We were rushing a bit in the batting. We were on track, but just as the UAE was starting to panic, I don't know why we also panicked."
Nepal clinched a semi-final spot from Group B after beating Bahrain by eight wickets at Kinrara in a match reduced to seven overs a side due to rain for their third straight win.