U19 Women’s T20 WC: Bangladesh open tournament by stunning Australia, UAE begin with win over Scotland

Benoni, Jan 14 (IANS) The opening day of the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa saw Bangladesh open the inaugural edition of the tournament by stunning a much-fancied Australia while UAE got going with a victory against Scotland.

At Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Saturday, Bangladesh registered their first-ever win over Australia at any ICC tournament, continuing their stunning run after winning warm-up matches against India and South Africa.

Bangladesh, led by Disha Biswas, chased down 130 with seven wickets in hand with Sumaiya Akter hitting the winning runs and triggering euphoric scenes in the dressing room. They were also helped by Australia dropping catches at crucial juncture of the chase.

Disha had landed early blows by removing the Australian openers early. They managed to make a recovery to post a competitive total of 130/5, thanks to the efforts of Ella Hayward (35 from 39 balls) and an impressive Claire Moore (52 from 51 balls) steadying the ship with their 76-run partnership, apart from smashing 28 runs in last two overs.

In reply, Bangladesh lost opener Misty Shaha on the very first ball off captain Rhys Mckenna. But Dilara Akter (40 from 42 balls) and Afia Prottasha (24 from 22 balls) stitched a 66-run partnership to lead Bangladesh’s recovery.

Though Chloe Ainsworth (2/9) brought Australia back into the game, Sumaiya (41 not out from 27 balls) shared a 61-run stand with Shorna Akter ensured that her side crossed the line, getting the tournament off to a blistering start.

In the other Group D match, nothing went Scotland’s way as UAE showed why they are a dangerous team in the competition, winning by six wickets. Indhuja Nandakumar (2/20), Vaishnave Mahesh (2/19) and Samaira Dharnidharka (2/22) were the pick of the bowlers to restrict Scotland to a paltry 99/9 in their 20 overs. Their only bright spot was Emma Walsingham top-scoring with 37 from 33 balls.

In reply, UAE looked to have lost their way after a watchful start as three wickets fell in the space of three overs to leave them 45/3. But Samaira made 23 from 27 balls while captain Theertha Satish smashed 27 off 24 balls.

An impressive Mahika Gaur took over to dish out 33 not out off 25 balls, hitting three boundaries and a six, and get UAE reach the target with just under four overs still remaining.

Brief Scores: Australia 130/5 in 20 overs (Claire Moore 52, Ella Hayward 35, Disha Biswas 2/25, Marufa Akter 2/29) lost to Bangladesh 132/3 in 17.5 overs (Sumaiya Akter 41 not out, Dilara Akter 40, Chloe Ainsworth 2/9, Rhys McKenna 1/31) by seven wickets

Scotland 99/9 in 20 overs (Emma Walsingham 37, Katherine Fraser 17, Vaishnave Mahesh 2/19, Indhuja Nandakumar 2/20) lost to UAE 100/4 in 16.2 overs (Mahika Gaur 33 not out, Theertha Satish 27, Maisie Maceira 2/7) by six wickets

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