Women's U-19 T20 World Cup: India crush South Africa to begin campaign on positive note
Opener Shweta Sehrawat smashed an unbeaten 92 after skipper Shafali Verma blazed away to a 16-ball 45 as India crushed South Africa by seven wickets in the Women's U-19 World Cup 2023.
Opener Shweta Sehrawat smashed an unbeaten 92 after skipper Shafali Verma blazed away to a 16-ball 45 as India crushed South Africa by seven wickets to begin their campaign in the inaugural Women's U-19 T20 World Cup on a rousing note in Benoni on Saturday.
After deciding to bat first, South Africa set India a challenging target of 167. India got off to a flying start at Willowmoore Park, with the opening pair of Shafali and Sehrawat scoring 77 runs in just seven overs.
Shafali, who has already represented the senior team in 51 T20Is, 21 ODIs, and two Test matches, looked in great shape as she toyed with the South African bowlers and set her team up for a significant victory.
Sehrawat maintained an excellent strike rate throughout her innings, which lasted 57 balls and included up to 20 boundaries, while Shafali immediately started going after the bowlers.
However, Shafali was removed by off-spinner Miane Smit at the start of the eighth over after exciting the crowd with nine fours and a six. When she exited, her strike rate was an astounding 281.25. The Indian skipper had previously excelled with the ball, taking two wickets to slow the South African scoring rate.
Shafali completed her allotted four over of bowling and finished with stellar stats of 2/31. Sehrawat continued in the same manner after Shafali left, unfazed, and assisted her team in crossing the finish line with 21 balls to spare. The previous best for Sehrawat against the same opponents was 40.
Simone Lourens (61 off 44 balls) and Elandri Janse van Rensburg (23 off 13) earlier in the game gave the South Africans a fast start, combining for 56 runs in just 4 overs.
India's first success came thanks to left-arm spinner Sonam Yadav, who caught Rensburg behind by senior India player Richa Ghosh.
Shafali then joined in on the fun by calling her rival, Oluhle Siyo, a duck. Karabo Meso and Miane Smit each made quick 19 and 16, while Madison Landsman contributed 32 off 17 balls. The home team settled for 166 for five when leading scorer Lourens was run out in the 17th over, a significant turn of events.
(With inputs from PTI)