Indian women created history in South Africa by becoming the first-ever finalists of the maiden edition of the U19 Women’s T20 World Cup as they managed to surpass the likes of New Zealand in a lopsided encounter. In a high-octane match like this, Indian captain Shafali Verma won the toss and opted to field first as the surface exhibited a few demons of its own.
Using the pitch’s shenanigans to its fullest extent, India landed a couple of early blows Mannat Kashyap and Titas Sadhu returned the Kiwi openers for cheap. Despite a resolute stand that followed suit between Georgia Plimmer and Isabella Gaze, the Indians were soon back in the hunt, thanks to Parshavi Chopra who struck off the latter.
From thereon, it was an unchecked descent into chaos for the Kiwis as New Zealand failed to get a hang of affairs with India chipping away at the scalps regularly. Not only did New Zealand lost wickets at a frequent interval but they lost their steam midway and the runs barely kept on coming. By the time India was done with their torment of the Kiwis, they could amass 107 runs on the card with Parshavi Chopra being the leading wicket taker with figures of 3 for 20.
India was not willing to sit back and defend as they were right off the block, steered comfortably by an on song Sweta Sehrawat and a cautious Shafali Verma. The duo piled up 33 for the opening stand before Anna Browing got the better of Verma and brought out Soumya Tiwari to the center.
Shweta was in no mood to stop the rampage that she started with Shafali and rocked the show in her own intimidating avatar as India managed to cruise towards the finishing line without breaking a sweat despite Anna Browning’s late blow that removed Tiwari. India eased past the finishing line with 34 balls and 8 wickets to spare clinching a final berth in the very opening edition of the tournament.