On Friday, January 27, at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom, the second semi-final of the ICC U19 T20 World Cup 2023 will pit England against Australia.
The Australian squad staged a dramatic comeback into the World Cup after losing their opening match to Bangladesh, winning three straight games. They easily defeated the Indian side in one of their two super-six games, winning by a margin of seven wickets. They received six points and a net run rate of +2.210 to place second in Group 1’s points standings.
England, meanwhile, is now unbeaten since they have not yet suffered a single loss in a game. They won lopsided matches over West Indies and Ireland to go to the tournament’s semi-finals. With eight points and a net run rate of +5.088, they won Group 2 and took first place in the points standings.
ICC U19 T20 World Cup 2023 Semi-Final 2: Players battle to watch out
Kate Pelle vs Sophia Smale
Pelle has been a reliable player at the top with the bat. She has 130 runs, including a half-century, in five innings and a 130-strike rate. Before passing the gloves to Paris Hall, she kept wicket for the first three games. In Australia’s Under-19 Championships, when she scored the second-most runs for New South Wales, she demonstrated that she is difficult to stop once she gets going.
England has a cunning left-arm spinner in Smale who consistently outwits the opposition. As a member of the championship-winning Oval Invincibles at the Hundred, Smale gained experience and has returned the most wickets for England with eight. What Heap is to Scrivens, Seamer Ellie Anderson is to Smale. One of only two bowlers in the competition to record a five-wicket haul, Anderson has seven wickets.
Grace Scrivens vs Maggie Clark
With a record-breaking 269 runs at a strike rate of 137.94, including three half-centuries, Scrivens has dominated the event. She has a risky opening partner in Liberty Heap; together, they have added two hundred-run stands. The tournament’s top individual score (93) belongs to Scrivens as well.
The second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament thus far has been Clark, who has made effective use of her tall frame. She made strong contact with the ground and was able to generate just enough movement to keep the hitters off balance. In the match against India, she removed Sonia Mendhiya and Richa Ghosh, while in the match against UAE, she took three wickets.
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