India Under-19 defeated South Africa Under-19 by 54 runs in the first T20 of the five-match series on Tuesday at the Steyn City School Ground, Pretoria.

Shweta Sehrawat and Soumya Tiwari starred with the bat while Shabnam and Archana Devi delivered top spells with the ball as the visitors put up an efficient performance overall.

India posted a total of 137/5 before restricting South Africa to 83/8 in 20 overs.

The series offers India preparatory time in South Africa ahead of the inaugural edition of the ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup, which will be held from January 14 to 29.

Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh, regulars in the senior Indian team, were part of the playing XI with the former leading the side.

However, Shafali was out on the first ball of the match after South Africa won the toss and opted to bowl first. The right-hander poked at a short delivery outside off and was caught inside the circle.

Sehrawat and Tiwari then put on a match-winning partnership for the second wicket. Sehrawat, who led India in the recent series sweep against the New Zealand development team in Mumbai, made 40 off 39, while Tiwari, in at No 3, finished with 40 off 46.

Keeper-batter Ghosh, who came to the crease at No 5, was out for 15 off 11 (with a four and a six) after being caught in the deep.

Right-arm pacer Shabnam (3/15 from four overs) and off-spinner Archana Devi (3/14 from four overs) led India’s charge with the ball as South Africa never really found their footing in the chase.

Shabnam struck twice in her spell with the new ball to put the hosts on the back foot, before Archana got wickets in the middle overs.

India U19 team for SA T20s: Shafali Verma (Captain), Shweta Sehrawat (Vice-Captain), Richa Ghosh (WK), G Trisha, Soumya Tiwari, Sonia Mendhiya, Hurley Gala, Hrishita Basu (WK), Sonam Yadav, Mannat Kashyap, Archana Devi, Parshavi Chopra, Titas Sadhu, Falak Naz, Shabnam MD, Shikha, Najla CMC, Yashashree.

Series schedule for IND U19 vs SA U19

Match Day  Date  Time  Venue  Result
1st T20I Tuesday  27-Dec-22  1.30 pm IST Tuks Oval, Pretoria  IND won by 54 runs
2nd T20I
Thursday  29-Dec-22  5.15 pm IST
Tuks Oval, Pretoria  ––
3rd T20I
Saturday  31-Dec-22  1.30 pm IST
Tuks Oval, Pretoria  ––
4th T20I
Monday  02-Jan-23  5.15 pm IST
Tuks Oval, Pretoria  ––
5th T20I
Wednesday  04-Jan-23  1.30 pm IST
Tuks Oval, Pretoria ––

Read the first T20I scorecard here.

Watch the first T20I here: