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U19 Women’s T20 WC : India breeze into final with eight-wicket win over New Zealand

Potchefstroom : Riding on performances from leg-spinner Parshavi Chopra and opener Shweta Sehrawat, India have breezed into the final of the inaugural U19 Womens T20 World Cup with an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first semifinal at the JB Marks Oval on Friday.

Electing to field first, Parshavi justified captain Shafali Verma’s call to bowling first with a spell of 3-20 in her four overs and helped India restrict New Zealand to a mere 107 in 20 overs.
In reply, Shweta asserted her run-making prowess by hitting her third half-century in the competition and remained unbeaten on 61 off 45 balls to complete the chase in 14.2 overs. India now awaits the winner of the second semifinal between England and Australia to see who they will face in the final on Sunday.

After electing to bowl first, India were on the money from the word go and never let New Zealand get away, with Anna Browning and Emma McLeod dismissed in the first six overs by left-arm spinner Mannat Kashyap and right-arm pacer Titas Sadhu respectively.

For New Zealand, only Georgia Plimmer (35 off 32 balls) and wicketkeeper Isabella Gaze (26 off 22 balls) struck a partnership of 37 to wage a fightback. But once Isabella was trapped lbw by Parshavi in the seventh over, the match became one-way traffic as Parshavi and other spinners caused New Zealand’s meltdown from 40/2 to 95/8 and eventually to end up at 107/9.

In reply, India lost captain Shafali Verma early for 10 off nine balls in the third over off Anna. Shweta and Soumya Tiwari took their time to build a 62-run partnership for the second wicket.

Shweta showed signs of aggression when she hit a hat-trick of fours off the gentle medium pace of Paige Loggenberg, who kept bowling short and wide, with the right-hander cutting with ease through the off-side.

She got a life when captain Izzy Sharp dropped her catch at extra cover. Shweta went straightaway after off-spinner Kate Irvine, taking two boundaries off her. She would then notch up her half-century in 39 balls and had a big smile on her face while raising the bat to acknowledge the applause.

Though Soumya was clean bowled for 22 off 25 balls by Anna, Shweta and Gongadi Trisha hit three boundaries between themselves, the last of which was a drive punched past mid-off by the former to take India to the final with 5.4 overs to spare, thus breaking the New Zealand jinx in the knockouts of a global tournament.

Brief scores: New Zealand 107/9 in 20 overs (Georgia Plimmer 35, Isabella Gaze 26; Parshavi Chopra 3-20, Shafali Verma 1-7) lost to India 110/2 in 14.2 overs (Shweta Sehrawat 61 not out, Soumya Tiwari 22; Anna Browning 2-18) by eight wickets



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