U-19 T20 World Cup: Indian women’s team reaches maiden final, beat New Zealand by 8 wickets
The Indian women’s cricket team reached the finals of the ongoing U-19 T20 World Cup in South Africa by beating New Zealand in the first semi-final by eight wickets at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Friday. The young guns, much like their seniors, are delivering on the big stage in first of its kind tournament in cricket. Sealing the finals spot means the Indian women’s U-19 team will face the winner of England or Australia on Sunday, January 29th at the same venue. Heading into the first final would boost the women’s team’s confidence, who will aim to create history, just like MS Dhoni’s men did in 2007 by winning the maiden T20 World Cup in South Africa.
Electing to bowl first after winning the toss, the Indian women’s team got off to a brilliant start, picking up three wickets inside the Powerplay. Keeper-batter Isabella Gaze contributed with a 22-ball 26 while batting all-rounder Georgia Plimmer tried saving the sinking ship with her crucial 35 in the middle overs.
All didn’t go the way the New Zealand team would have planned as leggie Parshavi Chopra returned with figures of 3-20. In addition to that, all bowlers barring left-arm orthodox Sonam Yadav picked a wicket each as New Zealand’s first innings ended on 107 for nine.
Chasing a moderate total, captain and star batter Shafali Verma got out early on ten while Soumya Tiwari also returned to the pavilion after scoring 22. However, the star of the match was the batter-in-form, opener Shweta Sehrawat who slammed a quick-fire 61 off 45 balls at a strike rate of 135.56, hitting ten fours. As she remained unbeaten, she got her tally to 292 from six matches, averaging a whopping 146 and at a strike rate of 141.06.
With around six overs to spare, the U-19 Indian women’s team chased down the target with eight wickets in hand.