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Watch: Indian women a step away from lifting first Under-19 T20 World Cup

India will fancy their chances at being the first side to lift the ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup (Image courtesy: BCCI)

India have become the first-ever ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup finalist, after a dominant, eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first semi-final at Potchefstroom in South Africa.

Shweta Sehrawat’s stunning, and unbeaten 61 from just 45 balls, propelled India to victory with 34 balls to spare, after they had restricted New Zealand to 107 for nine. Sehrawat helped herself to ten boundaries, adding 33 for the first wicket with captain Shafali Verma (10) and 62 for the second wicket with Soumya Tiwari (22 off 26 balls).

Earlier, India had served up one of their finest displays in the field, catching smartly and bowling wicket to wicket. Sensing that the pitch was playing slower, they also dragged their lengths back somewhat, forcing the Kiwis to play more cross-bat shots.

The result was several of the New Zealand starlets being caught at mid-wicket, or behind square on the leg-side. The dangerous Georgia Plimmer (35 off 32 balls) was caught at deep-square, just as she looked to be dragging her side back into the game.

The real damage was done right upfront by India, though. Anna Browning was beautifully nudged out by Mannat Kashyap, who got one to dip and turn. The edge was snapped up by Tiwari at slip.

New Zealand’s other opener, Emma McLeod, was then trapped in front by Titas Sadhu, as she tried to force the pace. Izzy Gaze (26 from 22 balls) did the repair work with Plimmer, but they kept losing wickets at the wrong time.

Parshavi Chopra continued her excellent tournament, snapping up three for 20.

India, sensing that the match was in their control, were also razor-sharp to any opportunity. Paige Loggenberg’s dismissal was a prime example. Hrishita Basu initially dropped the catch that was offered by Natasha Codyre but reacted quickly to the attempted single.

She picked up the stary ball, and threw down the stumps at the striker’s end, with Loggenberg well short. It was that sort of street smarts that saw New Zealand strangled to just 107 for nine. a

Against a confident Indian top-order, that was never going to be enough.

India will now wait to see who will emerge as their opponents in Sunday’s final, as Australia and England square off in the second semi-final. After losing to Australia in the Super Six stage, Verma’s charges have bounced back emphatically, and will fancy their chances at being the first side to lift the ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup.

Brief Scores:

New Zealand: 107 for nine in 20 overs (Georgia Plimmer 35, Izzy Gaze 26, Parshavi Chopra three for 20)

India: 110 for two in 14.2 overs (Shweta Sehrawat 61 not out, Soumya Tiwari 22, Anna Browning two for 18)