Tuesday, July 5 2022, will be written as a golden day in Indonesian Cricket history as its U-19 women’s team scripted history after qualifying for the inaugural edition of the ICC U-19 Women’s World Cup 2023 in South Africa.
Indonesia defeated Papua New Guinea in the decider of the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup East Asia Pacific Qualifier that were being held in Bali from 3-5 July. The Qualifier was a best-of-three competition between Indonesia and PNG held at the Udayana Cricket Ground in Bali. One of the two teams had to qualify for the mega event in January.
The competition was a fairly low scoring contest between the two sides. The first match between the sides saw Indonesia get the better of PNG quite comfortably even when they scored just 105 in the first innings, they bundled out the opposition for a mere 68. Captain Wesikaratna Dewi was the key performer with the bat with a composed 35(41) and spirited bowling performances from Ni Adek Karian and Yessny Yolanda who bagged 3 wickets each to see them home. PNG fought back bravely in the second fixture on Monday, first with the ball as they restricted Indonesia to a paltry score of 69/9 and then chased it down with 7 balls to spare to win the game by 4 wickets. Dika Lohia gave an brilliant all-round performance with the ball in the first innings with figures of 4-1-8-5 and an unbeaten 25* in a tricky chase to get her side over the line.
Everything was to play for in the final match between the two sides on Tuesday and it’d come down to the final over where PNG just required 3 of 6 deliveries with two wickets in hand, but 18 year old Ayu Kurniartini had other ideas. She showed tremendous composure and stood up for Indonesia and cleaned up the PNG batters in the first two balls of the over clinching the game and securing a flight for her side to South Africa next year.
Indonesian captain, Wesikaratna Dewi, was thrilled with the outcome and is looking forward to the future. She said, “I am so happy and so proud of the team. I cannot believe that we have reached this point, but we are now determined to make all of Indonesia proud of our success at the World Cup.”
There was a brilliant display of performances from both sides in the East Asia Pacific Qualifier, especially because qualifying events were returning to the region only after 2019. PNG all-rounder Dika Lohia won both the Best Bowler and the Player of the Tournament awards. She ended the qualifiers with 8 scalps, the joint-most with Indonesia’s Ni Adek Kariani.