Women’s U-19 World Cup: India, England, Australia and New Zealand’s road to the semi-finals
After 36 matches, four teams remain in the inaugural Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup. Both semi-finals will be played on Friday, January 27, with India vs New Zealand in the afternoon followed by Australia vs England in the evening. Here’s a look at what the four semi-finalists – and their key players – have done so far.
India topped Group D by beating South Africa, UAE and Scotland. In the Super Six round, they were bowled out for 87 by Australia but bounced back from that loss with a thumping win over Sri Lanka, thereby assuring themselves of a semi-final spot.
Sehrawat has been quite the star for India with the bat. She has the second-most runs in the competition and has been unbeaten in three of her five innings – one of which came while batting down at No. 6 as opposed to the opening spot.
Kashyap missed out on India’s opening clash but has picked up wickets in three of her four matches since. Kashyap and legspinner Parshavi Chopra are the only Indians with four-fors in the competition.
New Zealand won each of their Group C matches against Indonesia, Ireland and West Indies comprehensively to finish at the top. In the Super Sixes, they survived a scare against Rwanda before crushing Pakistan. They finished at second spot in the Super Six Group 2 by virtue of a lower net run rate than England.
Plimmer has put to use her 13-match international experience. She’s scored 120 runs – the second-most for New Zealand – at a strike rate of 157.89. She scored an unbeaten 22-ball 41 opening the batting against West Indies, and a half-century at one-drop against Pakistan.
Browning leads the batting charts for them. She also has chipped in with her right-arm seam bowling, picking up four wickets at an economy of 2.64. She was part of the New Zealand Development side that toured India in December and picked up a three-for in the last game in Mumbai.
The inaugural Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup kicked off with an upset, as Australia went down to Bangladesh. Thereafter, Australia have been clinical enough to ensure there were no more hiccups heading into the semi-final. They showed off their wares in the match against India in particular, but finished second in Super Six Group 1 with India’s net run rate (2.844) being superior to theirs (2.210).
Clark has made excellent use of her tall frame and has picked up nine wickets, the second-most in the tournament so far. She’s hit the deck hard and also managed to extract enough movement to have the batters on their toes. She dismissed Sonia Mendhiya and Richa Ghosh in the match against India and followed it with a three-wicket haul against UAE.
Pelle has been a solid presence with the bat at the top. She has 130 runs in five outings including a half-century and has a strike rate of 130. She kept wicket in the first three games before handing the gloves over to Paris Hall. Tough to stop her if she gets going, as evidenced in Australia’s Under-19 Championships, where she scored the second-most runs for New South Wales.
England have been clinical in this tournament. They opened their campaign by bowling out Zimbabwe for 25, bowled out Rwanda for 45, and beat Pakistan in the interim. They bossed their two Super Six outings by routing Ireland and West Indies. As a result, they march into the semi-final with a net run rate of 5.088, easily the best among all teams.
Scrivens has taken the tournament by storm, scoring a chart-topping 269 runs at a strike rate of 137.94 including three half-centuries. In Liberty Heap, she has a dangerous opening partner – the pair has added two hundred-run stands. Scrivens also holds the record for the highest individual score (93) in the tournament.
In Smale, England have a wily left-arm spinner that outfoxes the opponents game after game. Having gained experience by being part of the title-winning Oval Invincibles at the Hundred, Smale has returned eight wickets, the most for England. Seamer Ellie Anderson is to Smale what Heap is to Scrivens. Anderson has seven wickets and is one of only two bowlers to register a five-wicket haul in the competition.