A comprehensive, 10-wicket win over Zimbabwe assured Pakistan of a second-place finish in Group B and qualification to the Super Six League stage of the ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup in Potchefstroom.

The victory, which came courtesy of an unbroken opening partnership of 100 between Eyman Fatima and Shawaal Zulfiqar, while chasing a modest target of 98, meant Pakistan finished behind England with Rwanda’s historic win over Zimbabwe also guaranteeing them passage to the Super Sixes.

Fatima was in aggressive mood with a 35-ball 62 not out, which featured 10 fours and the two sixes in Pakistan’s innings, while Zulfiqar – who hit the winning runs with a four off Zimbabwe captain Kelis Ndhlovu in the 11th over – was more sedate with a watchful and unbeaten 32 (30 balls, six fours) as they cruised to victory.

Faced with a must-win match if they were to take third place from Rwanda in the group standings and advance into the Super Six stage of the tournament, Ndhlovu did her level best to vindicate her decision to bat with a fighting 42 off 35 balls (seven boundaries).

The catch was that with the exception of Adel Zimunu (13), Kay Ndiraya (11) and Natasha Mtomba (10), none of her teammates got into double figures, and Ndiraya and Zimunu’s run-outs did not help the cause.

So, when Ndhlovu popped a return catch to medium pacer Laiba Nasir to be the fourth wicket to fall with the score on 86, Zimbabwe’s chances of getting a competitive total disappeared with her dismissal.

While they did not bowl Zimbabwe out, Pakistan were content to keep things tidy on the bowling front, with reliable left-arm spinner Anosha Nasir again spear-heading the attack with figures of 2/21 to give her batters a comfortable chase.

Their chase was so leisurely that they had time to be watchful in the first two overs, but still overhauled the target by the 11th over.

Kiwis blow Windies away in Group C decider

A clinical bowling display, followed by ruthless batting, saw New Zealand blow West Indies away and secure top spot in Group C at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom.

Player of the match Kate Chandler snaffled three for 8 in four overs, as the Kiwis ripped the West Indians out for just 68, in 19.2 overs. There was simply no go forward for the Windies, as every single one of the Kiwi bowlers hit their straps, justifying the decision to bowl first after winning the toss.

Leg-spinner Chandler was a handful, getting good turn from the surface, as she got Djenaba Joseph smartly stumped for her first wicket. Abigail Hotton picked up a pair of wickets in the middle overs, as West Indies crashed to 40 for five at the midway point of their innings.

That their total reached 68 was down to the Kiwis conceded 25 extras, including 16 wides. That will be something they will look to eradicate ahead of the Super Sixes, but there was no stopping them in their final group match.

The final wicket of the Windies innings summed up their day. Kdjazz Mitchell was very nearly caught at mid-off but was then run out as she attempted the single off Kayley Knight’s bowling. Hotton, at mid-off, threw down the stumps smartly, and ended the West Indians’ misery.

New Zealand then made quick work of their target, with openers Georgia Plimmer (41 off 22 balls) and Anna Browning (28 off 22 balls) both scoring freely to win inside eight overs. Browning was dropped in the process, as she looked to add to her four boundaries.

Plimmer was even more fluent, smashing seven boundaries to rush home with 76 balls to spare.

Both teams now move onto the Super Sixes, though with differing moods. New Zealand are growing in confidence, while the West Indies will be keen to bounce back as soon as possible.

England charge into World Cup Super Sixes

England powered into the Super Six League stage with a massive, 138 run win over Rwanda in their third and final Group B match in Potchefstroom.

The win, made possible by setting the East Africans 184 to win and dismissing them for 45, confirmed a 100% record as they got into the business end of the tournament.

Player of the match, Liberty Heap’s belligerent 64 (35 balls, 12 fours) in a huge opening stand with captain, Grace Scrivens laid the foundation for the win.

The bowlers all chipped in with wickets, with an elite wicket-keeping display by Maddie Ward – who took two stumpings and a catch down leg on her 18th birthday – as well as a one-handed, diving caught and bowled effort by Davina Perrin were two of the game’s eye-catching highlights.

Having narrowly missed out on posting a total of 200 by a single in their group match against Zimbabwe, England batting after winning the toss was probably an attempt to reach that milestone.

Openers Heap and Scrivens had clearly got the memo, helping themselves to the Rwandan bowling and racing to 62/0 after the power play and 106 for none at the halfway stage of the innings.

By the time Heap fell as the first wicket after 12.3overs, the two had compiled 123 for the opening partnership, the highest in the competition, opening or otherwise.

Bizarrely, both perished in the same over and in the same manner – stumped off the bowling of spinner Sylvia Usabyimana – with Scrivens’ 52 coming off 43 balls (five fours and two sixes).

Although a touch expensive, Usabyimana was instrumental to putting the brakes on in the second half of the England innings, taking 3/39 off her four overs while captain Gisele Ishimwe (1/25 off three overs) and Henriette Ishimwe bowled with control towards the death.

This went a long way towards them restricting their opponents to just 77 runs for the loss of five wickets in the second half of their innings.

While keen to build on their start, the rest of the English batters seemed to struggle with the lack of pace of the Rwandan bowling attack and running in the oppressive heat of the North West University Oval.

Rwanda were sedate in their start to chasing the target of 184 and never got livelier, with their score at the halfway mark of their innings on 31/4.

Ireland seal their place in the Super Sixes

Ireland sealed their place in the Super Sixes with a 49-run victory over Indonesia in their final Group C encounter at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom on Thursday morning.

The young Irish side won the toss and elected to bat first, as they sought to end their group stages on a high, after losses to New Zealand and the West Indies. They lost two wickets early, as Ni Luh Ketut Wesika Ratna Dewi wreaked havoc with the swinging new ball.

Bowling massive in-swingers, she asked some testing questions of the Irish top-order, as she got rid of Siuin Woods and Annabel Squires in her opening burst. Her celebrations matched the quality of the deliveries, as Indonesia enjoyed their final outing, too.

Beyond those early wickets, Ireland started repairing their innings and built a formidable total. Rebecca Gough hurried to 27 from just 17 balls, notching five boundaries in the process.

After she fell, Georgina Dempsey (50 from 38 balls, with five fours) and Zara Craig (52 not out from 45 balls) then combined to add 93 for the fourth wicket. That alliance took the game beyond the reach of the Indonesian side.

Dempsey did fall after reaching her half-century, as she was cleverly deceived in the flight by Ni Kadek Ariani and was caught in the covers. Craig saw the innings through, striking five boundaries, too, as Ireland posted 156 for five.

The response with the bat for Indonesia was spirited, albeit limited. Ratna Dewi added a fighting 34 from 40 balls (two fours) to her wickets, but there was little in the way of sustained support for her at the crease.

The wickets were shared around by Ireland – indeed, only Freya Sargent didn’t pick up a scalp, as the constant changes kept Indonesia in check. Craig helped herself to two for 4 in two overs, to complete a wonderful all-round display for her country.

Indonesia ultimately closed on 107 for eight in their 20 overs, to complete a true journey of discovery for the entire squad.

Ireland’s stay in South Africa is not yet over, and they now move onto the Super Sixes, where they will look to apply the lessons learnt in Group C.

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