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ICC U19 T20 World Cup 2023: England Reach The Final, Register A Thrilling Win Over Australia

England is the second finalist to qualify for the finals of the ICC U19 T20 World Cup 2023 and will be squaring off against India as they beat Australia dramatically by 3 runs sending the entire Australian line-up within nineteen overs. Hannah Baker swept away the Player of the Match for her outstanding spell that brought about 3 wickets at the cost of just 10 runs. 100 on the target and 96 to get bundled up has been the entire long and short of the 2nd semi-final.

India is already in the final and they were by this time having a close eye on the second semi-final, who will be entering the second position. And there was England who won the toss and elected to bat first. Grace Scrivens was ready to take the first strike against Milly Illingworth’s first over and the former was off the mark with a quick single which went the same for Liberty Heap on the fourth ball of the first over. But Illingworth turned the tables quickly for her team as Heap departed early for the pavilion on the very first ball of the third over.

Scrivens looked a bit confident as she eased some pressure with her thumping hitting through the covers at the end of the third over. Niamh Holland was the next in the queue to get dismissed by Maggie Clark which was followed by a boundary in the same over from the bat of Seren Smale. Scrivens and Smale tried to pull off the innings with back-to-back boundaries in the fifth over. But on an unfortunate note, both Smale and the newcomer Ryana MacDonald-Gay left for the dug-out, the former at 10 off 10 balls and the latter for a duck. By the end of the powerplay, England was 29 for the loss of 4.

Some quick running between the wickets came the English way with Charis Pavely and Scrivens but they both were out in the ninth over at 4 off 8 balls and 20 off 20 balls respectively. Sophia Smale too walked away disappointingly at just 1 at the end of the tenth over. With some accumulated power, Josie Groves drove valiantly in the deep for a much-awaited boundary on the second ball of the eleventh over. This was followed by a slow and cold pace of the scoreboard where Alexa Stonehouse tried her bat out for another boundary in the fourteenth over.

With Groves timing one in the sixteenth over and another by Stonehouse in the very next over brought the uninvited dismissal of the former at 15 off 20 balls and the latter at a valuable 25 off 33 balls. The partnership that was somehow bringing England back on track after a pitiful start but that too went in after a hard-tried tryst by the duo. To conclude the innings, Ellie Anderson could only add two doubles in the final over before getting dismissed by Maggie Clark, her fourth of the match which resisted the English side at 99 at the cost of the entire line-up.

Although the total on the board was sufficiently low, but the huddle headed by an enthusiastic Scrivens seemed as if the English side would not let the Aussies surpass the total easily. Hence, the first over came across dramatically as Kate Pelle whipped Ellie Anderson outside off for a boundary but got succumbed in the same over. And England was on top of Australia as Stonehouse caught and bowled Sianna Ginger for a duck.

With much courage, Ella Hayward tried out to ease the pressure with the top order back into the pavilion, with a short cover boundary at the end of the second over. Claire Moore tried to join the party of boundaries in the fourth over with back-to-back boundaries to Stonehouse. Hayward’s last runs came smooth in the seventh over with a boundary and a single before leaving for the dug-out as she got bowled out by Hannah Baker at a bit appreciated knock of 16 off 22 balls when the innings needed a partnership badly.

Moore from the other end continued to pull the scoreboard towards the side with two boundaries in the ninth over but disappointingly got dismissed by Scrivens at 20 off 22 balls. Lucy Hamilton was lucky enough in the twelfth over to get a full toss no-ball by MacDonald which she smashed hard for a boundary but could only turn the free-hit into a dot ball before driving the fifth ball and got it caught at mid-off which was followed by the wicket of Rhys McKenna at duck and the next as Paris Hall getting an LBW at just 2 off 3 balls.

Amy Smith was the next one to play it away the game, lofted straight and was taken at long-off for a much-sounding knock of 26 off 26 balls. Ella Wilson and Milly Illingworth tried their way out to add some runs to get closer to the scoreboard with two powerful boundaries by each of them, but the latter departed for the pavilion falling short to reach safely into the crease and gifting her wicket away at just 8 off 6 balls.

The nineteenth over and the 2nd semi-final concluded with three consecutive dot balls followed by Clark’s wicket, Australia’s last for the tournament. And Australia summed up their yarn for the tournament with a loss for only being able to put up 96 runs on the scoreboard and getting ousted from the World Cup. ICC U19 T20 World Cup 2023 Final are now set to be squared off between India and England as the 2nd semi-final saw one of the most dramatic games ever for the knock-out stages in cricket history.

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