India U19 take 2-0 lead beating South Africa U19 by 4 Wickets

The Indian U-19 team registered a nerve-racking four-wicket win versus the South African U-19 team to clinch the five-match series 2-0. After winning the 1st T20I formidably, the Indian girls were looking to carry on their winning run after the 2nd and 3rd T20I were washed off due to inclement weather and this match presented them the perfect opportunity to do so.

Najila Cmc picked up 3 wickets & Falak Naz picked 2. PC: BCCIWomen / Twitter
Najila Cmc picked up 3 wickets & Falak Naz picked 2. PC: BCCIWomen / Twitter

South Africa won the toss and decided to bat first. Yet again, they were outclassed by the Indian bowling who reduced them to a paltry 86/9 at the 20 overs quota. Although they were off to a decent start, EJ van Rensburg scored a brisk 17 off 15 before being dismissed by Mannat Kashyap. Subsequently, Simone Lourens was also dismissed by Najla CMC in the 7th over. Kayla Reyneke, the star from the previous match who shone with her all-round performance tried building on a partnership with the skipper, Oluhle Siyo, the Indian bowlers were exerting pressure on them which made scoring runs difficult. Once they were dismissed by Shafali Verma and Falak Naz began the slippery slope for South Africa as they lost wickets in a flurry with none of the other batters registering double-figure scores. Sonia Mendhiya, Yashasri, Falak Naz, and Najila CMC made merry and scalped wickets as India was able to restrict South Africa to 86/9 with 10 extras helping South Africa post the disappointing total. The pick of the bowlers was Najla CMC and Falak Naz who scalped three and two wickets respectively with the rest of the bowlers ably supporting them.

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India was in for the run-chase and got a solid start with Soumya Tiwari and Shafali Verma slowly and steadily building on the total. But after Soumya Tiwari was dismissed for 14 off 23, Shafali Verma was also out for 29. Suddenly, India was two wickets down but the target was still well within the reach. Before Richa Ghosh and Sonia Mendhiya could build on a partnership, the former was dismissed by Refilwe Moncho for 15 and in the very next over Sonia Mendhiya and Shweta Sehrawat were dismissed for 8 and 0 respectively which meant India had to pull up their socks. There was panic in the chase suddenly having lost 5 wickets but because the target was well within reach, India looked on course. Another setback was Mannat Kashyap getting out for a duck and India now needed calm and calculative batting to get them through. Hurley Gala’s unbeaten 7 and Yashasri’s 3 guided India from the brink of an upset and helped them clinch the series 2-0 with over 30 balls to spare. South Africa should be credited for bringing the match so close and Seshnie Naidu was phenomenal picking 3 wickets and bowling at an economy rate of 3.5 and with Hlubi and Moncho also chipping in with a wicket apiece.

One of the major takeaways from this series has to be the floundering batting displays from both India and South Africa while their bowling has been the driving force in the encounters witnessed so far. South Africa would be playing for pride and will be looking to win the next and final T20I of the series while India would wish to address their batting concerns and end the tour on a high.

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Brief scores: South Africa U-19: 86/9 (K Reyneke 18, van Rensburg 17; Njla CMC 3/4, F Naz 2/11)

lost to India: 87/6 (S Verma 29, R Ghosh 15; S Naidu 3/14, A Hlubi 1/10)

I am a first year postgraduate student pursuing a MA in Media and Communication Studies at Christ University, Bengaluru. I am a podcaster, blogger and an avid cricket fan. When not glued to cricket matches, you can find me submerged in books and thinking about cricket all the time.

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