What an incredible start to the year. We have seen a whole host of young, female talent from across the world in a month of fast-paced T20 World Cup cricket action.
The final of the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup was set to be a thriller, as England prepared to face India. India beat New Zealand in the first semi-final of the tournament, winning by 8 wickets. They chased New Zealand’s total of 107/9 in 14.2 overs, with Shweta Sehrawat finishing on an impressive 61 not out from 45 balls! England won their semi-final by an incredibly tight margin, winning by just 3 runs after bowling Australia out in the 18th over! It was a true nail-biter until the end!
Both England and India had been strong finalist contenders throughout the tournament, with both sides displaying their skills with both bat and ball consistently. There was no telling who would come out on top to take the inaugural title of “ICC Under 19 Women’s T20 World Cup Winners”.
India won the toss and elected to put England into bat first. England had shown they could perform well under the pressure of any batting scenario, and India decided to test them once again. Within the first over, England lost the wicket of Liberty Heap to Titas Sadhu with a caught and bowled. This emphatic start for India propelled them forwards as wickets fell in relatively quick succession for England. By the 17th over, England were all out for 68, and Titas Sadhu finished her bowling with 2 wickets for 6 runs from 4 overs.
With England defending a low score, and India’s known prowess with the bat, it was guaranteed to be an ‘edge-of-your-seat’ second innings. England found the first breakthrough in India’s batting order in the third over, with Hannah Baker taking a brilliant catch to dismiss Shweta Sehrawat (5). By the start of the 13th over, India had reached 66/3, with India’s Shafalia Verma (15) and G Trisha (24) losing their wickets. The last ball of the 13th over saw Soumya Tiari hit the winning run after a misfield. There was pure elation for India as they became the first winners of the tournament.
Whilst of course there can only be one winner in these tournaments, all countries involved can hold their heads high in the knowledge that they are propelling the future of women’s cricket forward by leaps and bounds.