India's Shweta Sehrawat stars on opening day of U19 T20 World Cup

Shweta Sehrawat scored an unbeaten 92 to help India to seven wicket win

Shajin Mohanan S
14 Jan 2023 Updated On 15 Jan 2023
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Shweta Sehrawat

Shewata Sehrawat scored unbeaten 92 © ICC/ Getty

U19 T20 World Cup started with a bang as Bangladesh beat Australia in the opening game while hosts South Africa went down against India in a high-scoring affair in Benoni on Saturday (January 14).  Dilara Akter and Sumaiya Akter were the stars for Bangladesh, while opener Shweta Sehrawat smashed an unbeaten 92 to take India home after Simone Lourens smashed 61.

In the second match of Group D at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni, the hosts took on India - one of the tournament favourites - with Lourens going after the bowling right from the start. 

Shabnam MD, the only pacer India chose to pick as they opted not take the field without Titas Sadhu or Hurley Gala, had a nervous start on a really flat deck as she repeatedly pitched the ball too short allowing Lourens to take advantage of them. 20 runs came from the first over and with the opening batter racing to 32 from 12 balls, South Africa reached 50 in 3.3 overs. 

Although the hosts lost a couple of wickets at the other end, Lourens kept going after the Indian bowling and eventually brought up her fifty from 33 balls. With Madison Landsman, Karabo Meso, and Miane Smit giving the final flourish, South Africa amassed 166 for 5 from their 20 overs.

Skipper Shafali Verma was the pick of the bowlers for India with two wickets and the dashing opener brought that confidence and experience into her batting. Despite Sehrawat starting slowly, Shafali didn’t left that affect her and hit ten boundaries in the power play.

Shafali was particularly severe on Nthabiseng Nini as she hit 26 runs – with five consecutive fours and a six – to end the power play as she sped to 44 off just 13 balls.

However, in an attempt to take on Smit, Shafali fell in the eighth over adding only one more run to her kitty. But India openers put on 77 runs from 7.1 overs by then with Sehrawat also finding her feet. 

Post Shafali’s dismissal, Sehrawat pressed on the accelerator and hit six fours in the next ten deliveries she faced to bring up her fifty from 38 balls. Even though they lost two more wickets, in the end, India eased to a comfortable win with plenty of balls to spare. The vice-captain remained not out on 92 to help India go to the top of the table in Group D. 

In the opening fixture at the same ground, Bangladesh put in an impressive performance against an Australia XI full of players from Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) and Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL).

Opting to bat first, Australia made 130 from their stipulated 20 overs with Claire Moore making the first fifty of the tournament. In the chase, it was the duo of Akters – Dilara and Sumaiya – that took the Asian side home with two overs to spare.

At the Willowmoore Park B Field in the first match of Group D, all-round performance from Samaira Dharnidharka and an enterprising 33 not out from Mahika Gaur helped UAE get the better of Scotland in a low-scoring affair.

Earlier, UAE struck early blows with the big wickets of Ailsa Lister and Darcey Carter to leave Scotland reeling at 9 for 2 in the third over. Eventually it took a 33-ball 37 from Emma Walsingham to help Scotland post a score of 99 for 9 from their 20 overs.

For UAE, three bowlers picked up two wickets apiece with Dharnidharka returning with figures of 2 for 22 from her four overs. 

In the chase, UAE didn’t lose any wickets in the power play, but were rocked when they lost their captain Theertha Satish for 27. But Dharnidharka scored a patient 27, while Gaur went after the bowlers using her long levers. Eventually UAE got across the line in the 17th over losing four wickets. 

Brief Scores: 

Group A

Australia 130/5 in 20 overs (Claire Moore 52, Ella Hayward 35; Disha Biswas 2/25, Marufa Akter 2/29) lost to Bangladesh 132/3 in 18 overs (Dilara Akter 40, Sumaiya Akter 31*; Chloe Ainsworth 2/9) by 7 wickets POTM: Dilara Akter

USA 96/9 in 20 overs (Ritu Singh 22; Dewmi Vihanga 3/11) lost to Sri Lanka 100/3 in 19 overs (Vishmi Gunaratne 34*, Manudi Nanayakkara 32*; Bhumika Bhadriraju 2/17) by 7 wickets

Group D

Scotland 99/9 in 20 overs (Emma Walsingham 37; Vaishnave Mahesh 2/19, Indhuja Nandakumar 2/20, Samaira Dharnidharka 2/22) lost to UAE 100/4 in 16.2 overs (Mahika Gaur 33*, Theertha Satish 27; Maisie Maceira 2/7) by 6 wickets POTM: Samaira Dharnidharka

South Africa 166/5 in 20 overs (Simone Lourens 61, Madison Landsman 32; Shafali Verma 2/31) lost to India 170/3 in 16.3 overs (Shweta Sehrawat 92*, Shafali Verma 45) by 7 wickets POTM: Shweta Sehrawat