India U19 Team’s preparation for the upcoming inaugural U19 Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 started on a high note. They managed a comprehensive and convincing 4-0 victory over the hosts South Africa U19 Team in the six-match T20 series. The visitors didn’t show any mercy and were dominant throughout the series. They showcased themselves as the true powerhouse and favourites to clinch the trophy in the mega event.
They will be high on confidence after this dominating victory and would also have gotten accustomed pretty well to the South African conditions. The Indian team ticked all the boxes in this series and would aim to continue the same momentum and intensity in the World Cup. On that note, let’s glance through the performance of both teams and analyze this six-match T20 series.
The Indian team started their tour by witnessing a golden duck of their skipper and explosive opener, Shafali Verma, on the very first ball of the match. However, Shweta Sehrawat and Soumya Tiwari held their nerves and steadied the ship by scoring 40 runs each to guide India to a total of 137/5. Ayanda Hlubi and Kayla Reyneke were the picks of bowlers for the hosts picking up two wickets each. On the bowling front, the visitors were completely dominant as they held South Africa to 83/8 courtesy of three-wicket hauls from Shabnam and Archana Devi, which helped them win by 54 runs and take a 1-0 lead.
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Moving forward, the next two games were unfortunately abandoned due to rain. In the fourth T20, the hosts stumbled down again on 86/9, giving India an easy route for the chase. However, the path wasn’t as easy as it looked as India chased the target, having lost six wickets. Shafali Verma was the top scorer with 29 runs, whereas Najila was the star performer taking three wickets while giving just four runs in three overs. Meanwhile, Seshnie Naidu was the lone warrior for South Africa, finishing with the figures of 4-0-14-3.
With a 2-0 lead, the visitors were aiming to claim the series and were successful also as they managed a comprehensive 60-run victory. Shikha Shalot top scored with the bat, notching 49 runs off 40 balls, whereas Sonia Mendhiya and Titas Sadhu took two wickets each. It was a pretty comfortable win for the hosts, which helped them seal the series and eye for a whitewash.
In the final T20, South African batters had no answers for the Indian bowlers as they were dismissed on just 54 runs. Almost every bowler from India took a wicket, with Soppadhandi Yashari being the top pick with three wickets in her kitty. The visitors chased the target inside 10 overs to complete a whitewash and take away the series 4-0.
This series was a perfect preparation for India ahead of the World Cup, whereas it was an eye-opener for South Africa, who would want to improve on their mistakes and take full advantage of the home conditions. Both sides are placed in the same group in the World Cup, where we can expect a more competitive and edge-of-the-seat match.