India shattered the glass ceiling by becoming the first team to score over 200 runs in an innings at the inaugural ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup in their commanding, 122-run victory against the United Arab Emirates.

Having been put in to bat at Willowmoore Park in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, Shafali Verma’s side made the UAE regret the call with an explosive innings that began aggressively and never let up as they rocketed to a record score of 219/3.

After doing the damage against hosts, South Africa, in chasing a potentially tricky total in their tournament opener, India’s openers ,Shweta Sehrawat and Verma again set a blistering tone with a first wicket partnership of 111 by the time the latter was dismissed for an innings top score of 78 midway through the ninth over.

The approach between the two seems to dovetail nicely: Sehrawat (92 not out against South Africa and 74 not out against the UAE) dropped anchor while Verma – whose runs against the UAE came off 34 balls and featured 12 fours and four sixes – goes the fierce route.

As a result, Sehrawat has hit 30 fours but is yet to clear the ropes in her unbeaten 166 runs, while Verma has smashed 21 boundaries and five sixes for a strike rate well above 200. On a day of carnage for the bowlers’ economy rates, medium pacer Samaira Dharnidharka’s 1/33 off her four overs was the nearest to reining the rampant Indians in.

The UAE threatened to respond in kind when it was their turn to bat, with opener Theerta Satish (16) dusting up Shabnam for four fours in an opening over which would go for 17 runs. But the moment the skipper was dismissed off the fifth ball of that over, it was all downhill for the UAE.

While they resisted the mortification of being bundled out as well in their innings, a combination of accurate bowling by India – Titas Sadhu was the pick with 1/14 off her four overs – and scoreboard pressure meant they never had a realistic chance of winning.

South Africa hold their nerve to beat Scotland

Kayla Reyneke’s all-round performance was key to keeping hosts, South Africa, in the running to get out of the group stages of the ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup, following a hard fought 44-run victory over Group A opponents Scotland. Her teammate, Madison Landsman, took the first hat-trick of the tournament to help accelerate the win in the end.

Reyneke first helped the South Africans score a total which gave their bowlers something to bowl to, having come in at 18/2 and gone on to top-score with 53 off 49 balls (five fours, one six).

South Africa had made a hash of things after being inserted by the Scots on the same Willowmoore Park pitch on which India had scored the tournament’s first 200-run innings earlier in the day. While they also would have batted, the home team found themselves in trouble with their score on 43/6 halfway through the innings.

A drastic rebuild was needed if they were to post three figures for a semblance of scoreboard pressure for the opposition and be one of the top three teams to advance out of the group stages. Enter Reyneke and Jenna Evans with a partnership that came to South Africa’s rescue.

Batting together for all but one ball of the remaining 10 overs, the two counter-attacked with a 67-run partnership which helped the home side to a total of 112/7, Evans’ unbeaten knock of 22 coming off 29 deliveries (two fours).

That was only half the job done however, as South Africa would have still been thinking about the wayward bowling in their tournament opener against India that made a target of 167 look like light work.

As it turned out, the hosts were well up for it today, with Jemma Botha (2/13 off four overs) – in for Nthabiseng Nini – setting the tone with an intense and accurate opening spell from around the wicket which also saw her trap opener Ailsa Lister in front for the first wicket.

Off-spinner Reyneke (1/11) bowled well in tandem with leg-spinner Seshnie Naidu (2/11) –whose wickets were courtesy of two great diving catches by Simone Lourens at midwicket – with Madison Landsman cleaning up by taking the best figures of 4/16 as Scotland unravelled to 68 all out.

Not only was the South African bowling improved all round from their match against India, but they were well backed up by an even better fielding display as well.

Sri Lanka fall short as Bangladesh continue to impress

Bangladesh continued to impress in the inaugural ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa, as they held off a determined Sri Lanka challenge at Willowmoore Park B Field on Tuesday.

Bangladesh eventually prevailed by ten runs and remain undefeated since touching down on South African soil. This latest victory was built on a terrific foundation laid with bat in hand, after they had been put in to bat first by Vishmi Gunaratne.

A 75-run, opening stand by Misty Shaha (14) and the free-scoring Afia Prottasha, who notched a 43-ball 53. In the process, she hammered three sixes, and sprinkled five boundaries into the mix.

She was the first wicket to fall, just as she seemed set to kick on to what was shaping to be a glittering century. Shaha was then run out after good work from Gunaratne. Those two wickets were two balls apart, and Bangladesh needed to start again at 79 for two.

Dilara Akter (36 not out) and Shorna Akter (50 not out from just 28 balls) did exactly that, adding an unbroken 86 for the third wicket. Shorna was particularly brutal, with two sixes and three boundaries – as well as aggressive running between the wickets.

Needing to score at over 8 to the over, Sri Lanka needed a flying start. Instead, they lost Nethmi Senarathna to the fourth ball of the innings. Fellow opener Sumudu Nisansala followed just three balls later, bowled by Disha Biswas, as Bangladesh’s bowling took control.

Gunaratne then led from the front, wrestling her side back into the contest. Her 61 not out, struck off 54 balls, formed part of an alliance of 96 for the third wicket with Dewmi Wijerathne, who weighed in with a 44-ball 55.

While they were both at the crease, Sri Lanka had a genuine interest in winning the contest. They struck 15 fours and three sixes between themselves, as they pushed Bangladesh to the very end. It was Marufa Akter who made the crucial break, trapping Wijerathne leg-before in the 17th over.

Manuda Nanayakkara was then run out, as the Sri Lankans got more desperate. Dulanga Dissanayake clubbed fours from each of the three deliveries she faced, but the mountain had become too steep by that stage.

Gunaratne was left on 61 not out, ten runs short and wondering what could have been.

Australia bounce back with clinical triumph over USA

Australia raced to a nine-wicket victory over the United States of America (USA), as they bounced back from their opening defeat in the ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup Group A fixture in Benoni on Monday.

Australia won the toss and elected to field first, as they looked to get the loss to Bangladesh out of their system. Maggie Clark led from the front with the ball, snaring two wickets and then reacting sharply to effect the run out of Disha Dhingra, opening the Aussie wicket account.

Clark had Snigdha Paul (17) bowled out, as the left-hander chopped on trying to boost the scoring. USA kept trying to break free, but clever Australian bowling saw Paul and Laasaya Mullapudi (10) be the only batters to get into double figures.

The Aussies will look at the 11 wides that they conceded as an area that can be improved upon, but they put that aside to bowl USA out for just 64, in 15.3 overs.

The chase was just as efficient, as Australia boosted their net run-rate considerably. Kate Pelle opened the scoring with a six to signal the intent for the innings. She breezed along to 30 not out from just 26 balls, with a pair of sixes and fours.

Her opening partner Paris Bowdler was bowled by Paul for 7, but Claire Moore found her stride right away, hurrying to 22 not out from 17 deliveries. Victory soon arrived in the 9th over, as Australia won with 68 balls to spare.

The win sees them level on points with Sri Lanka, setting up a decisive final group clash for the pair. The daunting prospect of group leaders Bangladesh lies in wait for USA, who continue to show a great attitude and willingness to learn, in the country’s first appearance in any ICC event for ten years.

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