England wore down a determined Pakistan by beating them by 53 runs to maintain their place at the top of the Group B standings at the ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup, ensuring their passage into the Super Six League stage.

While they didn’t have it all their way while batting first in the encounter at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom, England’s batting depth still made Pakistan pay for leaking runs towards the end of their innings and set them the more than competitive total of 157 to win.

Pakistan, led by a 36-ball 34 by their unrelenting captain, Syeda Shah – aptly nicknamed Aerobics – were determined in their response but simply did not string enough partnerships to make an impression on the target.

Also, England’s bowling attack – thanks in no small part to Sophia Smale’s 2/10 and Hannah Baker’s 1/13 – was disciplined and never gave them a single over big enough to give them belief.

Having ridden roughshod over an outclassed Zimbabwe in winning their tournament opener by 174 runs, the English side sporting four changes was keen to impose itself after winning the toss and deciding to bat.

Pakistan were not overawed however, as the opening exchanges in their innings had the feeling of a boxing match that plays out in a clinch. England were brimming with the intent to cut loose while Pakistan contained them by taking vital wickets just when it seemed like they would.

The chief architects of this containment job were left-arm spinner Anosha Nasir and right-arm medium Zaibunnisa, who took four of the seven wickets that fell through figures of 2/20 and 2/24, respectively.

At times, the two were helped by some inspired fielding, mostly from Shah, whose catch to remove Liberty Heap off Noor Bhatti’s bowling is contender for catch of the tournament.

Having failed to take a catch off Heap’s opening partner Grace Scrivens the ball before, Shah back-pedaled at mid-off and stuck out a mitt as she fell backwards, with the ball landing in her outstretched hand.

But, England were nothing if not persistent, with one of the changes – player of the match Seren Smale – top-scoring with a 33-ball 37 (six fours), Ryana McDonald-Gay going unbeaten on 35 (three fours, one six) and Scrivens chipping in with 24 (four boundaries) to ensure a total of 156/7.

New Zealand consolidate Group C lead with victory over Ireland

New Zealand consolidated their top spot in Group C with a comprehensive, nine-wicket victory over Ireland in Potchefstroom.

For the second match in a row, the Kiwis found themselves needing 75 runs to win after Ireland – like their opponents in the tournament opener, Indonesia – were dismissed for 74.

Having managed the first win without the loss of a wicket, today, they lost the wicket of the elegant but dangerous Anna Browning, who holed out to Zara Craig off Georgina Dempsey’s bowling for an attractive 29. It was all lofted drives, drives on the up and impeccable timing for Browning, who had already done massive damage to the Irish cause by scoring her runs off just 14 balls (five fours and one six), which meant by the time they concluded the power play they were already in sight of victory.

The right hander was supported by Antonia Hamilton (18 not out) and Georgia Plimmer (17 not out) in an innings that drove home the difference in the two bowling attacks. Where New Zealand had been more disciplined with their bowling, Ireland had conceded six extras in the first over while defending a low total. In the end, they had conceded 11 extras to New Zealand’s six in the match.

Ireland rued their decision to bat first as they lost their first wicket for just four runs and wilted in the stifling heat of the JB Marks Oval, with wickets falling at too regular an interval for them to find a way to rebuild their innings.

New Zealand’s opening pace bowler Natasha Codyre, who ended up with figures of 3/6 in her three overs, was a particular thorn in their side with her bounce and stump to stump line, with spinner Natasha Wakelin chipping in with two wickets of her own for 12.

Captain, Siuin Woods, had it about right in saying the comprehensive defeat was more galling because they hadn’t put their best foot forward in any of the three disciplines.

Ishimwe hat-trick seals historic win for Rwanda over Zimbabwe

Not content with merely making up the numbers, Rwanda’s remarkable young women secured their first ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup win on Tuesday, as they proved too strong for Zimbabwe at the North-West University Oval on Tuesday.

Henriette Ishimwe’s hat-trick provided the gloss on a historic day for Rwandan Cricket, as they defeated Zimbabwe by 39 runs.

Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bowl first in Potchefstroom, and Rwanda immediately set to task in making a total that would test their African counterparts. Openers Merveille Uwase and Cynthia Tuyizere made a terrific start, adding a steady 49 for the first wicket.

Uwase fell first, bowled by Tawana Marumani for 18 off 33 deliveries (one boundary). That brought the aggressive Gisele Ishimwe to the crease, and she dispatched five boundaries on her way to 34 from 23 balls. Tuyizere meanwhile, chalked up 30 from 44 balls, being the glue for the top-order.

They added the bulk of the runs, and Zimbabwe did not help themselves by providing 20 extras to the total. That saw the total swell to 119 for eight, despite seven Rwandan wickets falling in the last five overs of the innings. Chipo Moyo was the pick of the bowlers, with three for 22. This included two wickets off successive balls in the final over, as Rwanda scrambled for late runs.

Zimbabwe had to score at six runs to the over to succeed, and Natasha Mtomba’s fluent 20 at the top of the order set them on their way. Wickets kept on falling however, as Rwanda swarmed around their opponents with lively fielding and energy.

Kelly Ndiraya made a patient 20, but she took 38 balls to get there. The required rate was climbing, and Rwanda could smell a historic, first-ever triumph in a World Cup.

Henriette Ishimwe, who took the new ball, returned a terrific second spell, as the pressure mounted. Her final figures of four for 13 were decisive and sensational. The wickets came off consecutive balls in the 19th over, giving her the second hat-trick in the tournament in as many days, but making her the first bowler to take four wickets in a row in an event that is seeing many firsts.

Fittingly, she also took the final wicket to spark exuberant celebrations.

James shines again as West Indies prove too strong for Indonesia

Zaida James took the spotlight again for the West Indies, as they made it consecutive wins in Group C defeating Indonesia by 77 runs at the North West University Oval on Tuesday afternoon.

James, who made a half-century and took wickets against Ireland, helped herself to a classy 55 from just 37 balls in the second group outing for the Windies. She hit a pair of sixes and added eight boundaries to her tally, as she and Shunelle Sawh (31 from 36 balls) added 95 for the first wicket.

The Windies had won the toss and elected to bat first, and each of the top-order got valuable time at the wicket. Naijanni Cumberbatch returned unbeaten for 19 at a run a ball, while Djenaba Joseph chipped in with 25 from only 16 balls.

The real impetus for the West Indian total was provided by Trishan Holder, who hammered 35 not out from only 14 deliveries. Three sixes and a pair of boundaries saw her propel her side beyond the reach of Indonesia, closing their innings on 176 for three.

Chasing 177 to win was always going to be a massive ask for an Indonesian team, but they gave another solid account of themselves. Kadek Kurniartini made 15 before being bowled by a slower Ashmini Munisar off-spinner.

With the bat, Gusti Ayu Ulansari (10) and Ni Luh Ratnma Dewi (14) were the only others to get to double figures, but the West Indies would have lamented their ill-discipline, as they coughed up 23 extras, 19 of which were wides, and that is something they will have to address before they move to the next stage of the tournament.

Joseph was the pick of the bowlers, adding three for 14 in four overs to her efforts with the bat earlier. James, Shalini Samaroo and Munisar took a wicket apiece, and good fielding saw to three run-outs in the Indonesian chase.

While there are bigger challenges that lie ahead for the West Indies, Indonesia will now look to their final game against Ireland as a chance to leave South African shores with another memory to savour, in what has already been an incredible journey to this point.

Indonesia fell one run short of reaching 100, as West Indies won by 77 runs, with the final Indonesian wicket still intact.

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