The inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup Asia qualifiers which was played in Malaysia from June 3 to June 9 was done and dusted with UAE U19 qualifying for the 2023 ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup to be played in South Africa. UAE locked horns against the other five participants in the tournament, including Bhutan, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, and Qatar, in a round-robin format. UAE beat all the five teams to complete the tournament as table toppers.
Here’s a look at UAE’s road to the 2023 ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup:
UAE beat Bhutan by 160 runs
UAE played their first match of ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup Asia qualifiers on June 3 against Bhutan. Batting first, UAE posted a mammoth total of 1-202 in 20 overs, thanks to their opening pair of captain Theertha Satish (94) and Lavanya Keny (67 not out). In reply, Bhutan were reduced to 7-42 in 20 overs, losing the match by a massive margin of 160 runs. Siya Gokhale and Rishitha Rajith were the most successful bowlers for UAE as they claimed two wickets apiece.
UAE beat Nepal by 10 wickets
Picking up from where they had left, UAE handed a crushing 10-wicket defeat to Nepal after bowling them out for a paltry score of eight runs in 8.1 overs on June 4. In response, UAE completed the formalities in just seven balls to register their second win of the tournament. Mahika Gaur, who opened the bowling, starred with the ball for UAE as she scalped 5-2 in four overs, including a couple of maiden overs.
UAE beat Malaysia by 9 wickets
UAE secured their third win on the trot as they beat hosts Malaysia by nine wickets on June 6. Batting first, Malaysia were restricted to 9-33 in 20 overs and in reply, UAE chased down the target in just four with nine wickets in hand and 96 balls to spare. Mahika Gaur again wreaked havoc with the ball for UAE as she bagged 4-4 in four overs, including two maiden overs. Lavanya Keny (13 not out) and Samaira Dharnidharka (11 not out) steered their side to an easy win.
UAE beat Qatar by 10 wickets
UAE continued to dominate the tournament with their fourth win on June 7 as they defeated Qatar comprehensively by 10 wickets. UAE chased down 50 runs in just 5.4 overs without losing a single wicket, after reducing Qatar to 8-49 in 20 overs. UAE’s Archara Supriya rattled the opposition with her 5-2 in four overs, including three maiden overs. The opening pair of captain Theertha Satish (34 not out) and Samaira Dharnidharka (16 not out) saw their team home.
UAE beat Thailand by 6 wickets
UAE completed the tournament in style as they outclassed Thailand on June 9 in the last and the final match of the Asia qualifiers. Batting first, Thailand put together 8-84 in 20 overs, thanks to Phannita Maya, who top scored with 40 runs off 39 balls. However, 84 runs were not enough for Thailand as UAE made lightwork of the run chase by achieving the target in 17.1 overs to win the match by six wickets. Captain Theertha Satish led from the front with an unbeaten 38 off as many balls.
With five wins in five matches, UAE sealed their place in the inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup to be played in South Africa in January next year.
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I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.