Opener Soumya Tiwari continued her impressive form as India Under-19 defeated the New Zealand development team by four wickets in the fifth and final T20 to complete a series sweep, at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s ground in Bandra Kurla Complex on Tuesday.

Coached by former international cricketer Nooshin Al Khadeer, the Indian team put in another solid performance to remain unbeaten in the series – which allowed the players to prepare for the inaugural edition of the ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup in South Africa from January.

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New Zealand won the toss, having lost it in the last three games, and opted to bat first but could only manage a total of 119/6 in their 20 overs. In reply, Tiwari led the way with a 27-ball 40 as India finished with 121/6 in 18 overs.

Skipper Prue Catton got the highest score of the match and registered the first half-century of the series for the visitors. The right-hander came in at No 3 and hit eight fours in her run-a-ball 53. She built a 64-run partnership for the third wicket with keeper-batter Izzy Gaze (34 off 30).

Right-arm pacers Shabnam (1/19) and Titas Sadu (1/16) removed the NZ openers and kept things tight in their eight overs, while left-arm spinners Sonam Yadav (2/27) and Mannat Kashyap (2/22), who had bagged a five-for in the previous game, accounted for the rest of the wickets.

Tiwari was her fluent self from the get-go and played some trademark drives through the cover region. Being the only Indian player to score a half-century in the series – in the first T20 – the right-hander struck six fours in her knock and allowed India to be ahead in the chase throughout.

Skipper Shweta Sehrawat couldn’t convert another start and was caught at long-on for 20 off 19. The right-hander, who has been named India’s vice-captain for the U19 World Cup, finished the series with 76 runs at an average of 15.2 and strike-rate of 100.

All-rounder Hurley Gala played an entertaining cameo of 21 runs from 16 balls before Mannat Kashyap and Hrishita Basu were dismissed off consecutive deliveries by right-arm pacer Kayley Knight. But Sadhu ended the match calmly with a four as India took the series 5-0.

Right-arm pacer Anna Browning was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand, with figures of 3/13 from her four overs.

India U19 women’s squad for T20s vs New Zealand: Shweta Sehrawat (c), Shikha Shalot, Trisha G, Soumya Tiwari (vc), Sonia Mehdiya, Hurley Gala, Hrishita Basu (WK), Nandini Kashyap (wk), Sonam Yadav, Mannat Kashyap, Archana Devi, Parshavi Chopra, Titas Sadhu, Falak Naz, Shabnam MD.

Series results

Date  Result  Venue 
27-Nov-22      India won by 7 wickets  MCA BKC, Mumbai     
29-Nov-22      India won by 110 runs  MCA BKC, Mumbai     
01-Dec-22      India won by 30 runs  MCA BKC, Mumbai     
04-Dec-22      India won by 29 runs MCA BKC, Mumbai     
06-Dec-22      India won by 4 wickets 
MCA BKC, Mumbai

Read the full scorecard of the fifth T20 here and the statistics from the series here.