Looking Ahead to the Womens U19 World Cup Final

A look ahead to the final of the inaugural Women’s U19 T20 World Cup, and as usual some of my photographs.

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

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

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.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

Rwanda in the Under 19 T20 World Cup

A look at Rwanda’s involvement in the inaugural Women’s U19 T20 World Cup, plus some recent photographs.

Greetings from the frozen wastes of West Norfolk – the freeze here has now got to the stage where Bawsey Drain is partially frozen over, never mind the ponds. In today’s post I look at a great story to emerge from the inaugural Womens U19 T20 World Cup, and make some suggestions for the future.

THE BIGGEST SUCCESS OF THE TOURNAMENT

Obviously in absolute terms this will belong to whoever ends up lifting the trophy, which will not be Rwanda, whose journey will end at the Super Six stage (England, New Zealand and India are all looking strong, and no one familiar with Australia in knock out stages would dare rule them out), but in relative terms, to reach the Super Six stage, and to win one match at that stage (v West Indies) on Rwanda’s resources far outranks any of the achievements of the big guns.

RWANDA’S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

Rwanda are an excellent bowling side (Henriette Ishimwe, who took four wickets in four balls to seal the win over Zimbabwe had a comparatively quiet match in the Super Six win over West Indies, when the spinners dominated) but struggle with the bat – that great win over West Indies was achieved with only four wickets and two overs to spare even after dismissing their opponents very cheaply. If a side is going to be weak in one department I would prefer it to be batting, as a good bowling side can often make up for frailties with the bat, whereas there is nowhere to hide if your bowlers cannot do the job.

RWANDA GOING FORWARD

The top sides should make space for Rwanda in their schedules – more competition against them could only improve Rwanda. I would also like to see domestic competitions (Rachael Heyhoe-Flint trophy, Charlotte Edwards cup, The Hundred, The WBBL, and coming into existence later this month, the WIPL) include Rwandans among their overseas signings. There are a number of current Rwandan players who would be excellent value as an overseas signing in these leagues. A new nation with no prior cricketing heritage making its presence felt on the world stage can only be a good thing for those of who want the game we love to continue to grow and develop, and I give these young Rwandan women my heartfelt congratulations for their contribution to this tournament.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Time for my usual sign off…