England announced themselves emphatically at the inaugural ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup with a massive, 174-run win in their campaign opener against Zimbabwe in South Africa.

Grace Scrivens’ team were on 67/1 after the six power play overs, 99 for 2 at the drinks break after 10 overs and scored another 100 runs in the remainder of the innings for the loss of two more wickets to fall just a single short of being the first team in the tournament to reach the 200-run mark.

The carnage began as early as the first wicket partnership between Scrivens and Libbie Heap, who put on 60 runs off just 31 balls.

When Heap departed for a fiery 25 off 12 balls (five fours), there was no letting up with Niamh Holland joining Scrivens – who ended up compiling 45 off 32 (eight fours) – and going on to top score in the innings with a 37-ball 59 bedecked with six boundaries and a maximum.

Holland’s 87-run partnership with Charis Pavely (45 off 26 deliveries featuring six fours and a six) would sustain the assault on the Zimbabwe bowling attack to the point of getting England to the brink of the highest total scored by a team in the tournament.

Things did not markedly improve when Kelis Ndhlovu’s team went in to bat, with the England attack running through the Zimbabwe batting line-up to the point where they were 15/4 at the conclusion of the power play, with a 184-run mountain to climb on their run chase of exactly 200.

Left-arm orthodox spinner Sophia Smale began the damage by deceiving opener Natasha Mtomba with flight and bowling her for ultimate figures of 2/5 off two overs, but it was Scrivens’ 4/2 off four overs which meant Zimbabwe were all out just 10 runs later in an innings featuring four ducks.

Windies all-round triumph over Ireland

West Indies had to fight hard, but they did exactly that to hold off a spirited Ireland challenge in their ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup group clash at the North-West University Oval on Sunday.

They were led by Zaida James, who starred with bat and ball, to give the popular Windies a winning start to their campaign.

Having been put in to bat by Irish skipper Amy Hunter, the West Indies scrambled together 125 for three in their allotted overs, on a surface that played on the slow side. Ireland didn’t help themselves, as they conceded 21 extras – a figure that would come back to haunt them.

18 of those were wides, and that helped the islanders put up a total that would ultimately be just out of reach for the Irish. There was a fine batting effort from opening batter Zaida James, who batted until the start of the 18th over. She held the innings together with a steady 52 from 57 balls.

She struck eight fours in her stay and got fine support from Naijanni Cumberbatch (21 not out). For the Irish, Freya Sargent was the pick of the bowlers, with excellent figures of two for 9 in her complement of four overs.

The three extra overs that Ireland gave the Windies were crucial, however, as 19 runs were scored off those final 18 deliveries. More than that, it meant that Ireland were under pressure with their over-rate.

In response to the Windies total, Ireland lost Siuin Woods early, before Hunter and Annabelle Squires put together 46 for the second wicket. Squires struck four boundaries, in a well-paced 42 from 38 balls, while Hunter was more circumspect – 21 off 25 balls.

The match swung in the Windies’ favour when Hunter fell and was then followed an over later by Georgina Dempsey. Abbi Harrison hit two fours quickly, but the rate was creeping up, and the West Indies were maintaining their disciplines. In contrast to their opponents, they only conceded three wides with ball in hand.

When Squires fell in the 16th over, Ireland had a proverbial mountain to climb 41 to win, with just 29 balls in hand and two relatively new batters at the crease. The damage was done by the player of the match, Zaida James – who helped herself to four wickets, to go with her half-century with the bat.

Sargent tried in vain to keep Ireland alive at the death, but James struck again to settle the contest, securing victory by seven runs.

Pakistan overcome slow start to beat out plucky Rwanda

A composed and unbeaten 65 by opening batter Eyman Fatima guided Pakistan to a comfortable eight-wicket win over Rwanda in their opening match of the ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.

After seeing Pakistan’s chase of Rwanda’s modest 106/8 get off to a false start with opening partner Shawaal Zulfiqar dismissed with the score on one at JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom, Fatima dropped anchor and played a knock which took turns being watchful and seizing the initiative.

An example of this was that Fatima had to dig deep in the first half of Pakistan’s reply with the score only on 42/2 after 10 overs. But it was the right-hander who did the accelerating in the 11th over following the drinks break, hitting three of the four fours off Belise Murekatete’s bowling as the Pakistanis basically broke the back of the chase.

Fatima’s nerveless half-century came off 60 balls and featured 11 fours, and it was fitting that the player of the match also scored the winning runs with a square cut for four off the fifth ball of the 18th over bowled by Gisele Ishimwe.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, the Rwandans soon lost opener Marvaille Uwase for a duck with just a single on the scoreboard. This left fellow opener Cynthia Tuyizere and captain Gisele Ishimwe to do the salvage job with a cautious partnership of 51 over the next 10 overs.

Ishimwe would go on to be top scorer with a 49-ball 40 which was studded with four of the six boundaries the Rwandans could muster in the whole innings.

As that fours tally suggested, there wasn’t much more support for that second wicket partnership, with only Tuyizere (20 off 34), Ishimwe’s sister Henriette (14) and the extras (16, which included 13 wides) getting into double figures.

Throw in reasonably accurate bowling by the Pakistan bowling attack – the pick of which was Areesha Noor Bhatti with figures of 2/19 off four overs – and three run-outs in the innings and the East Africans were always going to struggle to post a big target.

Their competitiveness nearly turned a molehill run chase into a mountain, but they just never had enough runs on the board.

Kiwis start on a high

New Zealand made a strong start in their ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup campaign, as they defeated Indonesia by ten wickets in their opening match of the tournament at North-West University Oval on Sunday afternoon.

Izzy Sharp’s charges restricted Indonesia to just 74 for seven in their allotted overs, and then rattled off the target in less than ten overs.

New Zealand made the best start to the match, with Anna Browning striking with the opening ball of the contest. From there, Indonesia toiled to 74 in their maiden World Cup appearance.

Browning went on to claim tidy figures of two for 12 in her four overs, while Natasha Wakelin was the pick of the bowlers, returning figures of three for 14 in her spell of four overs. For Indonesia, Desi Wulandari was patient in making 16 not out off 34 balls, and Kadek Kurniartini (13) and Ni Luh Dewi (12) tried their best to put up resistance.

In response, New Zealand made quick work of the target. Antonia Hamilton made 26 not out from 21 balls, striking two boundaries. At the other end, Anna Browning was just as fluent, with a 38 not out effort off just 36 balls. She smacked five boundaries as well as a six, as New Zealand finished with a flourish.

Content courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.