ICC Women's Under-19 T20 World Cup 2023: Shweta Sherawat (92 off 57) and Shafali Verma (45 off 16) blow away Proteas with whirlwind knocks; India Women U-19 beat South Africa Women U-19 and move to pole position in Group D.
India got a fairytale start in their opening match in ICC Women's Under-19 T20 World Cup 2023 against hosts South Africa on Saturday with a splendid 7-wicket win.
South Africa openers shine; Proteas put up 166-5
South Africa first put up a good total of 166-5 in their allotted 20 overs, after their skipper Oluhle Siyo won the toss and opted to bat first. Proteas’ openers Simone Lourens and Elandri Janse van Rensburg set the floor on fire. In their first over only, they picked up 20 runs. The 15-year-old Shabnam MD bowled short balls and was hit by the right-handed Lourens for two sixes and two fours. In the next four overs, the SA openers scored 56 runs.
The first breakthrough for India came from Sonam Yadav when Van Rensburg (23 off 13) miscued the ball and behind the wickets, Richa Ghosh took a simple catch. Simone Lourens, the 15-year-old right-handed opener ended as the top-scorer with 61 from 44. She played aggressively to help the Proteas put up a competitive score of 166 runs to gain an advantage over India.
India openers provide perfect counter to help team achieve target well within 20 overs
The credit for this win goes to both the openers - Shafali Verma (45 off 16) and Shweta Sehrawat (92* off 57). It was lovely to see how captain Shafali Verma supported her deputy Shweta Sehrawat, who remained unbeaten at the victory outpost. Both of them made the best use of the powerplay overs.
They managed to put on 70 runs in the powerplay as they started to chase down an impressive total of 166 runs. When Verma departed, Sehrawat took control in her hands, as the middle order struggled to score runs.
Sehrawat played an impressive knock of 92* off 57. At the start of her innings, she couldn’t find gaps and was taking her own sweet time and was batting on 10 off 14 at one point; after a while, however, she batted fearlessly and scored 80 runs off fours in 92-run innings. In the ninth over, the right-hander got lucky when a catch was put down at deep mid-wicket. Her strike rate was 161.40, and she was rightly awarded ‘Player of the Match’.
Shafali Verma played a captain's game with both bat and ball. The teenager opened her innings by hitting a boundary, and throughout the knock, she was unstoppable by any bowler. Verma wreaked havoc against South African bowler Nthabiseng Nini when she hit the right-arm pacer for five consecutive fours in the first five balls, and then a six in the last ball of the last powerplay over. Shafali was dismissed by Miane Smit after being caught at long-on in the eighth over. She scored 45 runs (9 fours, 1 six) off just 16 balls with an incredible strike rate of more than 281. She significantly contributed with her bowling as well. She took two wickets in 4 overs while giving away 31 runs with an economy rate of 7.75. She was the most successful bowler for India.
Over-dependence on Shafali & Richa plus need for pacers to fire may worry India
With their brilliant performance in the opening match of the ICC Women’s U-19 T20 World Cup 2023, there is a renewed hope of fans from the team. In order to win this world cup, however, the team is too dependent on senior players like Shafali Verma, wicketkeeper batter Richa Ghosh, and all-rounder Shweta Sehrawat.
After the first match, it seems that the Indian bowling attack struggled to curtail boundaries, and take wickets. Only one pacer Shabnam MD was there, and she just bowled one over and conceded 20 runs, the rest 19 overs were bowled by spinners. As South African pitches are bouncy, the team needs to have a pace bowler for death overs.
India’s upcoming match schedule:
1:30 PM IST
Willowmoore Park, Benoni
5:15 PM IST
Willowmoore Park B Field, Benoni