India confirmed their spot at the top of Group D, as they overpowered Scotland by 85 runs, in their final group fixture of the ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup in Benoni on Wednesday afternoon.

India signalled their intent by choosing to bat when they won the toss, and even the loss of captain, Shafali Verma and Sonia Mehdiya relatively early, didn’t derail their plans. G Trisha’s sparkling 57 off 51 balls was studded with six boundaries. She received good support from the reliable Richa Ghosh, as they added 70 for the third wicket.

Ghosh’s experience weighed in with 33 from 35 balls, including three boundaries. The pair fell within three balls of each other, and it was left to Shweta Sehrawat to provide the fireworks to close out the innings. She hammered 31 not out from just 10 balls. The blitz included four fours and two maximums, powering India to 151 for four.

Katherine Fraser was the pick of the bowlers for Scotland, with two for 31.

Chasing 152 to win, Scotland started with Ailsa Lister (14 off 14 balls) and Darcey Carter (24 off 22 balls) adding 24 in the first four overs. Once they departed however, the wheels fell off for a Scottish side that has been on a steep learning curve in the past fortnight.

Mannat Kashyap tore through the middle-order, snaring four for just 12 runs in her spell of four overs. Archana was just as destructive, with three for 14 in her allotted overs.

Such was their devastation, Scotland were bundled out for 66, losing their last six wickets for just 16 runs. Sonam Yadav applied the finishing touches with the ball, picking up two wickets in her seven deliveries.

India now move onto the Super Six stage, where they will be rightly acknowledged as one of the genuine contenders for the maiden U19 Women’s T20 World Cup.

For Scotland, this marks the end of the road, but there were plenty of lessons taken on board, which several players will take into the senior women’s side going forward.

Australia picks up World Cup momentum with big win over Sri Lanka

Australia won the battle to finish second in Group A with a comprehensive, 108-run win over Sri Lanka in Benoni, east of Johannesburg.

The win came courtesy of a hustling performance with the bat and a clinical effort with the ball which saw them wrap up the match with 42 balls to spare.

Chasing 160 to win after Australia posted 159/5, Sri Lanka lost their first wicket for three and never recovered from the slide to be bowled out for 51.

Ella Hayward, Sianna Ginger and Lucy Hamilton – whose match figures of 36 and 1/7, 30 and 1/2, and 22 and 2/0 respectively – all put in all-round performances in a team effort by the Aussies, with Hayward walking away with the player of the match award for a lively innings.

Sri Lanka’s decision to put Australia in to bat on a flat Willowmoore Park pitch veered from a good one to uninspired depending on whether runs were being scored or wickets were being taken.

Given that they target a score of around 40 runs in the power play, they were ahead of it when Kate Pelle was caught for 27 (four boundaries) at midwicket with the score on 41, a period which would usher a semblance of control for the Sri Lankan bowling attack.

Having induced the false stroke that got rid of Pelle, off-spinner Rismi Sanjana – playing her first match of the tournament – kept things tight in tandem with fellow spinner Vidushika Perera and had Claire Moore stumped for a second wicket that would lead to overall figures of 2/30.

With the boundaries drying up, the Aussies resorted to intense running between the wickets, with the 11th over yielding 10 lung-busting runs between Ginger and Ella Hayward. That said, the Sri Lankans aided and abetted this with misfielding which produced dropped catches and missed opportunities.

With opener, Ginger, having dropped anchor for her 30 (31 balls, three fours), Amy Smith and Lucy Hamilton – who both scored brisk 22s – were on hand to give the innings the impetus to the eight runs an over chasing mark most teams have found difficult to reach in the tournament.

Hamilton, who fell to a controversial run-out after getting in a tangle with bowler Rashmi Nethranjali, was particularly belligerent, getting her runs from just 11 balls and hitting Australia’s only six of the innings in a Perera over in which she smashed 18 runs.

Tenacious USA give Bangladesh a scare

Bangladesh survived a mighty scare by a proud United States of America team, as the Group A frontrunners eventually prevailed to maintain their unbeaten start to the tournament at Willowmoore Park B Field on Wednesday morning.

Handed a target of 104 to win, Bangladesh seemed to be cruising home, on 59 for two after eight overs. But the loss of Shorna Akter, who skied Tanmayi Eyyunni to long-off, and then Dilara Akter soon after, gave the USA hope of an upset before they headed home.

Bangladesh skipper, Disha Biswas looked like she was set on taking her team home, but she was undone by a beautiful piece of bowling by Aditiba Chudasama. The off-spinner got one to grip, turn sharply and get through the gate, startling Biswas and sending another shiver down Bangladesh’s spine.

It was left to Rabeya (18 not out from 24 balls) and Misty Shaya (14 not out from 13 balls) to nervously guide their side beyond 100 and finally, to victory. They won with 15 balls to spare, but they knew they had been in a proper scrap.

Earlier, USA had put up 104 for four after winning the toss and taking first strike. Snighda Paul contributed a steady 26 off 37 balls, and there was also assistance from Disha Dhingra (20 from 39 balls) and Isani Vaghela, who made a run-a-ball 17 not out.

Biswas claimed two for 13 with the ball, as Bangladesh kept the scoring under six to the over. With pitches slowing down and taking more spin, variation in bowling departments will be a crucial factor in determining who will walk away with the first-ever U19 Women’s T20 World Cup crown.

This match marked the end of the tournament road for USA, but they depart with their heads held high after pushing one of the tournament favourites all the way.

Bangladesh now move onto the next stage, as Group A winners.

South Africa book Super Six place with gritty win over UAE

South Africa held their nerve in defending a low score for the second match in a row in their 45-run victory over the United Arab Emirates in Benoni.

The victory, which had eerily similar statistics to their last match against Scotland, was taken away from the UAE thanks to the remarkable figures of 4/11 off four overs by off-break bowler Miane Smit, securing the hosts’ qualification for the Super Six League stage in second place, in Group D.

Batting first for the third, successive match after the UAE won the toss and decided to bowl, wasn’t the only case of deja vu for South Africa, they also scored 112/7 in their 20 overs – the same score from their innings against Scotland.

While the South Africans could have taken that to be a good omen because they went on to win their match against the Scots by 44 runs, it also meant their innings stuttered and was in desperate need of the three contributions of 20 plus runs by openers Elandri Janse van Rensburg and Simone Lourens, as well as skipper Oluhle Siyo lower down the order.

After enduring a first over maiden by the UAE’s lanky left-arm pace bowler Mahika Gaur, Lourens and Janse Van Rensburg put on 33 for their opening stand. The former went on to top-score with a 29-ball 27 (three fours) while the latter had already put in a big-hitting 24 (23 balls, five fours) by the time she was dismissed.

South Africa’s ploy of holding captain, Siyo, back instead of letting her bat at first drop, paid dividends as she contributed a useful 25 not out (28 balls, one boundary) coming in seventh and providing the sting in the tail with lower order batters like Jenna Evans (17).

While they had given themselves something to bowl at by the end of the innings, it was inescapable that, for the second match in a row, they had left themselves a lot of work to do in the field.

Thankfully, the bowlers were up for the fight again, building pressure with accurate bowling and taking wickets regularly to not give the UAE a sniff.

The opening pair of off-spinner Jemma Botha (1/11 off four overs) and pace bowler Ayanda Hlubi – who took 2/6 off her first two overs, with both scalps coming from successive deliveries – put the brakes on the run-rate and also took wickets.

Kayler Reyneke (1/22), leg-spinner Seshnie Naidu (2/16) and Smit didn’t let up either when they came on, the latter administering the knockout blow through a double strike in her first over and accounting for four of the last six UAE wickets to fall.

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