A stunning spell of leg-spin bowling by Parshavi Chopra led India to a hasty, seven-wicket triumph over Sri Lanka in their second Super Six match in the inaugural ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup in Potchefstroom. They displayed strong fight and bouncebackability after their loss against Australia just one day ago.

India knew they had to beat Sri Lanka convincingly as they looked for a semi-final slot in the tournament. Chopra cast a spell of accuracy and deception, nabbing four wickets for just 5 runs in her spell of four brilliant overs, which also included a maiden.

Amongst those was the key wicket of Sri Lanka captain Vishmi Gunaratne, who was bowled advancing down the wicket. She played for the conventional leg-spin, but Chopra had served up a googly, and the ball slipped past Gunaratne and crashed into off-stump.

At that point, the Sri Lanka skipper was going well on 25 (28 balls, with two boundaries), while the rest of her side collapsed around her, having been inserted by India. Chopra’s incisive spell saw Sri Lanka eventually reduced to 59 for nine in their alloted 20 overs, with only Umaya Rathnayake (13 from 36 balls) managing to reach double figures with the bat.

India’s resolve to bounce back immediately was evident in how miserly they were; just one wide was given away in the extras’ column. Mannat Kashyap took two for 16, while Titas Sadhu started the collapse by claiming a wicket with the very first ball of the day.

The chase from India was just as resolute. In her post-match interview, captain, Shafali Verma, admitted that the team had set themselves a target of eight overs to reach victory and they did just that. She led the charge, belting a six and a four in her 10-ball 15, while the in-form Shweta Sehrawat fell for 13, just as she was getting into her stride. Richa Ghosh hit her first ball to the fence, and was then caught off the next, as Dewmi Wijerathne claimed three wickets.

Sri Lanka could do nothing to stop the free-scoring Soumya Tiwari, who clattered five boundaries on her way to 28 not out, from just 15 deliveries. She leapt onto anything loose, as India improved their net run-rate significantly, reaching their target after just 7.2 overs.

India now faces a nervy wait to see what else transpires in their Super Six group. They sit on six points, while Australia and Bangladesh have four each. Both those sides still have one last match to play – both facing the UAE - and net run-rate will become a deciding factor if they both emerge victorious.

Rwanda fairytale continues with West Indies upset

Rwanda were overjoyed again as they claimed their second victory of the tournament. Having beaten Zimbabwe in the Group stage, the East Africans accounted for the West Indies on Sunday, to claim their biggest victory to date.

It was the calm, confident bat of Gisele Ishimwe which saw Rwanda home by four wickets, as they chased down the West Indian effort of 70 all out, with 10 balls to spare. Ishimwe’s 31 not out, from 53 balls, was full of maturity and clarity, knowing what was at stake for her and her country.

Earlier, the West Indies had won the toss and elected to bat first. They could not have predicted a Marie Tumukunde spell wreaking havoc on their plans, with a four-wicket burst that stopped their scoring in its tracks.

An exceptional four for eight in 3.3 overs was her return, getting the dangerous Jannillea Glasgow caught in the deep, before bowling Lena Scott out two balls later. She then trapped both captain, Ashmini Munisar and Abini St. Jean leg-before, as the wheels fell off the Windies’ innings.

Tumukunde was not alone in taking four scalps. Sylvia Usabyimana did the damage upfront, as Rwanda rotated their bowlers frequently. She had Naijanni Cumberbatch stumped without scoring, and she removed the well-set Realeanna Grimmond (18 off 21 balls) in the same fashion two overs later.

In between those two wickets, she also had Djenaba Joseph caught by Ishimwe for seven. For all their efforts, the West Indies could not get any momentum going with the bat, as Rwanda’s slow-bowling ruthlessly subscribed to a wicket-to-wicket line.

West Indies were eventually bowled all out, for 70.

The slow surface was not easy to score on and Rwanda also lost wickets in clusters, but there were crucial contributions from Merveille Uwase (10) and Cynthia Tuyizere (12), which kept the scoreboard moving.

Those runs upfront also meant there was less for Ishimwe to do at the back-end, with the pressure mounting, especially when Henriette Ishimwe and Geovanis Uwase both fell to their very first deliveries respectively.

Gisele needed someone to stay with her and she eventually found an ally in Rosine Irera (8 not out from 14 balls). Together, they added 31 priceless runs to move from a precarious 40 for six to the target of 71.

Ishimwe did the bulk of the scoring, farming the strike and picking off the West Indian attack. Fittingly, she hit the winning run with 10 balls to spare, sparking a sea of Rwandan yellow running onto the field to celebrate.

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