Report - India and UAE come out trumps on Day 1
Written By: Ritwika Dhar
Picture Courtesy: ICC
M#1 – UAE v SCO | UAE picked up a comprehensive 6-wicket victory
It isn't easy for opponents to topple over a team who have a combined 173 caps. On Day 1, 'chase to win' was the winning mantra. And UAE captain Theertha Satish did the exact same. After winning the toss, she decided to field first. And the UAE bowling didn't let the Scotland batting flow from the outset. Right-arm medium Indhuja Nandakumar with her swinging yorker length deliveries cleaned up both the openers, Ailsa Lister and Darcey Carter. Scotland were reduced to 9 for 2 after just three overs.
A powerful striker of the ball, Emma Walsingham walked in at 3 and scored a fiery knock of 37 off 33, including the first six of the tournament. She and skipper Katherine Fraser (17 off 22) stitched a 33-run stand. Walsingham got a few lives and was looking to pounce on them before leg-spinner Vaishnave Mahesh eventually plucked her wicket. On the very next delivery, she got Maryam Faisal too. With these consecutive wickets, Mahesh brought UAE back into the game. From 67 for 6, Scotland could only manage to add 32 runs more to the total. Vaishnave Mahesh, Samaira Dharnidharka, and Indhuja Nandakumar all picked up 2 wickets apiece.
In response, captain Theertha Satish led the chase from the front, with her 27 off 24. After 8 overs, UAE reached almost half of their target, with 46 runs on the board. But pacer Maisie Maceira bowled both Satish and Rinitha Rajith in the 9th over and opened up a slight chance to come back into the game. But Mahika Gaur (33* off 25) and Samaira Dharnidharka (23 off 27) ensured no further hiccups. In the 17th over, UAE reached the 100-run target with 6 wickets in hand. Samaira’s all-round contribution of 2 for 22 and 23 off 27 fetched her the Player of the Match award.
Scotland – 99/9 (20) E. Walsingham 37 (33), K. Fraser 17 (22); V. Mahesh 2/19 (4), I. Nandakumar 2/20 (4)
UAE – 100/4 (16.2) M. Gaur 33 (25), T. Satish 27 (24); M. Maceira 2/7 (2), N. Sheikh 1/22 (4)
M#2 – SA v IND | Shweta Sehrawat starred in India’s record-breaking chase
South Africa, who never got past 100 runs in the bilateral series against India or the warm-up games, put up a record total of 166 on the board. Captain Shafali Verma said in the post-match presentation that the pitch at Willowmoore Park, Benoni was a 'paata wicket', which means it was nothing but a road and had no demons in it. That probably inspired South African captain Oluhle Siyo to bat first after winning the toss.
As the wicket was full of runs with a super-fast outfield, India chose to include only one pacer in their XI, despite having pacers like Hurley Gala, Falak Naz, and Titas Sadhu. India also benched another frontline left-arm orthodox spinner Mannat Kashyap. India opened the bowling with the youngest member of their squad, 15-year-old pacer Shabnam Shakil. And she went for 20 runs in the opening over. Courtesy another 15-year-old at the other end, Simone Lourens.
Shafali never brought Shabnam back to bowl another over. Rensburg welcomed Archana Devi from the other end with a six. In the 1st three overs, Shafali used 3 different bowlers. And in the 4th over, SLAO Sonam Yadav finally provided the breakthrough in the form of Elandri Janse van Rensburg (23 off 13). In the 5th over, Shafali brought herself into the attack and scalped SA captain Siyo for a duck. These back-to-back wickets gave India some relief and slowed down the run rate of SA batters. After Siyo’s wicket in the 4th over, South Africa could only add 27 runs in 8 overs. And Shafali dismissed the struggling Kayla Reyneke on 11 off 26 in the 13th over.
Meanwhile, Lourens brought up her fifty and became the 1st South African batter to score a 50 in this U19 T20WC. Madison Landsman joined Lourens in the middle and added 37 runs. Lourens was run out by G Trisha after striking a magnificent 61 off 44. Landsman continued her onslaught at the other end and smashed a brisk 32 off 17. Batters Karabo Meso (19* off 11) and Miane Smit (16* off 9) took the total beyond the 150-run mark and helped SA post a huge total of 166/5. Leg-spinner Parshavi Chopra was the most economical bowler, with figures of 1 for 15 in 4 overs at an economy of 3.75. In terms of wickets, Shafali Verma was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 31. The strategy of putting pressure on the batters with spin from both ends didn't work for the Indian team.
With South Africa having showcased their disciplined bowling in the past few matches, it seemed to be a difficult chase for the Indian team. But Shafali Verma had other plans. She led the Indian chase with 45 off just 16 balls at a jaw-dropping strike rate of 281. In the last over of the powerplay against Nini, she smacked 26 runs – four boundaries off the 1st five balls before capping the over with a huge six over long-on. Though Shafali was dismissed by Seshnie Naidu in the 8th over, her deputy Shweta Sehrawat continued to bat on. Initially, she was struggling to time the ball, but later she recovered well and scored the first 50 of the tournament for India. She held the innings together, with her unbeaten 92* off 57 balls, and saw India home with 21 balls remaining. India’s talented number 3 Gongadi Trisha also played an attractive cameo of 15, which comprised 3 boundaries. Unsurprisingly, Sehrawat was awarded the Player of the Match for her 92*.
South Africa – 166/5 (20) S. Lourens 61 (44), M. Landsman 32 (17); S. Verma 2/31 (4), P. Chopra 1/15 (4)
India – 170/3 (16.3) S. Sehrawat 92* (57), S. Verma 45 (16); M. Smit 1/15 (2), M. Landsman 1/20 (2.3)