The first Women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup final took place on Sunday in South Africa, and India easily defeated England after they failed to overcome the final obstacle.
In a thrilling semifinal victory over Australia, Grace Scrivens’ youthful athletes successfully defended 100, but they were unable to replicate the feat in Potchefstroom. When given the opportunity to bat first, they gave their opponents a meager 69-run target, with Ryana MacDonald-Gay leading the way with 19 off 24 balls.
Only four batters were able to reach double figures as England lost wickets consistently to an Indian attack which had just one seamer in Titas Sadhu. The off-spin of Archana Devi dislodged Scrivens, caught for just four runs, and Niamh Holland for 10 as England slid from 16 for three to 68 all out.
India played a composed innings in response, with a batting line-up that included the team captain and full international, Shafali Verma, at the top of the order. Verma made 15 from 11 balls to set the tone, before falling to a fine catch from Alexa Stonehouse off the bowling of Hannah Baker.
When Baker caught Shweta Sehrawat off Scrivens for five runs, leaving India 20 for two, England briefly posed a threat to replicate their bowling brilliance from Friday. Soumya Tiwari (24 not out) and Gongadi Trisha (24 from 29 balls) worked together to quickly approach a subpar target.
Stonehouse had already bowled Trisha when India was only three runs away from victory. First World Cup trophy won by an Indian women’s team thanks to their victory, which comes 18 years after Nooshin Al Khadeer’s personal World Cup final defeat to Australia.