This post looks ahead to tomorrow’s final of the inaugural Women’s Under 19 T20 World Cup. England and India will be fighting it out.
India did enough to make the semi-finals with some comfort, but in spite of the inclusion of two established senior internationals in Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh they have not had things all their own way. They beat New Zealand very comfortably in their semi-final, as the latter produced their only poor performance of the tournament at just the wrong time.
England utterly bossed their first round group, and were barely any less convincing winners of their Super Six group. It was a different matter in the semi-final against Australia, as their batting misfired for the only time in the tournament, and they had a mere 99 to defend. However, their bowlers set about repairing the damage in very impressive fashion. At 59-7, and again at 77-8 they seemed to have the match won. The ninth wicket pair added 19, but then, a mere boundary stroke away from the final, Milly Illingworth was run out to make it 96-9. Four balls later Grace Scrivens claimed the final wicket, and England were home by three runs. Hannah Baker was named Player of the Match for taking 3-10 from her four overs.
A BATTLE ROYAL
I expect this contest to go down to the wire, but I think that England’s successful defence of a mere 99 in their semi-final is enough to make them favourites – their batting has failed only that once all tournament, and their bowling has been magnificent throughout, whereas India came into the semi-finals as the least impressive of the four qualifiers. Whatever happens tomorrow England have let the cricketing world know in no uncertain terms that the future of their women’s team is in good hands.
My usual sign off…