Monday, March 20, 2023

U19 Women’s T20 WC: India eye coveted title

When word spread about the inaugural Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup to be held in South Africa in January 2023, many in the cricketing ecosystem were extremely excited about the first-of-its-kind tournament giving a stage for young players to showcase their talent and chase their dreams of playing at the international level.
In the current era in which the visibility of women’s cricket has seen swift growth, the tournament has done its job of putting the future stars of the game in the spotlight. Now, after two weeks of action that has seen 16 teams participate in the competition, it is set up for an exciting finale with Sunday’s title between India and England to be held in the JB Marks Oval at Potchefstroom on Sunday.
While India stormed into the final with comprehensive wins, barring a blip against Australia in the Super Sixes, England are yet to lose a match and have registered thumping victories too. They also showed in their incredible three-run win over Australia in the second semifinal that they can withstand pressure and hold their nerve in tough situations on-field.
For India, Sunday presents a golden opportunity to clinch their first global trophy in their history of featuring in women’s cricket. In a country where India first made the final of a Women’s World Cup, 18 years ago (2005 ODI World Cup final), Shafali Verma & Co have a chance to make history and set the ball rolling for even greater participation of females back home in cricket.
Both India and England have strong openers in vice-captain Shweta Sehrawat and captain Grace Scrivens respectively. Shweta has been India’s mainstay with the bat, impressing everyone with her strokeplay and calmness while making 231 runs at an average of 115.50, and has been dismissed only twice in the competition.
Grace, on the other hand, has been consistent at the top with the bat and is the leading run-scorer with 269 runs at an average of 53.80, and also picked six wickets with her off-spin at an average of 7.16. In Parshavi Chopra and Hannah Baker, India and England have quality leg-spinners who can apply brakes on the smooth sailing of the batters.
India (from): Shafali Verma (captain), Shweta Sehrawat (vice-captain), Richa Ghosh (wicketkeeper), G Trisha, Soumya Tiwari, Sonia Mehdiya, S Yashashree, Hrishita Basu (wicketkeeper), Sonam Yadav, Mannat Kashyap, Archana Devi, Parshavi Chopra, Titas Sadhu, Falak Naz and Shabnam MD
England (from): Ellie Anderson, Hannah Baker, Josie Groves, Liberty Heap, Niamh Holland, Ryana MacDonald-Gay, Emma Marlow, Charis Pavely, Davina Perrin, Lizzie Scott, Grace Scrivens (captain), Sophia Smale, Seren Smale, Alexa Stonehouse and Maddie Ward.


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