England women advance to U19 T20 final
England Under-19 Women edged Australia Under-19 Women in a thrilling three run win at Senwes Cricket Stadium to book their place in Sunday’s final of the inaugural ICC Women’s U19 World Cup.
England were skittled out for 99 runs in 19.5 overs, the first time all tournament the side failed to make triple figures, but with just 100 runs needed to secure a place in the final, Australia were bowled out for 96.
After electing to bat first in the semi-final, captain Grace Scrivens would not have had the score 38-5 after eight overs on her script for the day’s proceedings. The nagging lengths of 15-year-old Maggie Clark, which dovetailed beautifully with the pace of Siana Ginger and Ella Hayward all tournament, proved to be far too good for the English batters.
Scrivens held up an end with her score of 20 runs as her teammates fell around her. Things seemed particularly bleak before Alexa Stonehouse with 25, and Josie Groves’ 15, put together a 46-run partnership to get England close to 100.
At the halfway stage, the result appeared to be a formality but there was a twist in the tale. England struck early in the chase, leaving Australia 5-2 after dismissing both openers Kate Pelle and Siana Ginger inside 1.2 overs. Boundaries flowed in the period after that as the English pushed for wickets but they would find them.
Scrivens produced a classic off break to breach the defences of Claire Moore on 20 just when she looked set. Hannah Baker’s 3-10 was responsible for removing the Australian middle order and making the unlikely win all the more possible.
The big wicket was that of Amy Smith on 26 runs, with just 23 needed from 26 balls when she held out to Ryana Macdonald Gay who took a straightforward catch at deep mid off. With four runs needed from seventeen balls, Illingworth was run out by Macdonald Gay trying to steal a single.
Still only one hit away but with nine balls to get it off and one wicket remaining, Clarke went back to a straight delivery from Scrivens and was given out LBW, much to the ecstasy of the English players and supporters in the stadium.
In the other semi-final, India beat New Zealand by eight wickets.
England U19 Women will have the chance to go one step further than the U19 Men did in 2022 and win the tournament when they face India in the final on Sunday. If they manage to do it, they will end the tournament unbeaten.
England U19 Women 99 all out in 19.5 overs (Alexa Stonehouse 25, Grace Scrivens 20; Siana Ginger 3-13, Maggie Clarke 3-15). Australia U19 Women 96 all out in 18.4 overs (Amy Smith 26, Claire Moore 20; Hannah Baker 3-10, Grace Scrivens 2-8). England win by three runs.
New Zealand U19 Women 107-9 in 20 overs (Georgia Plimmer 35, Isabella Gaze 26; Parshavi Chopra 3-20). India U19 Women 110-2 in 14.2 overs (Shweta Sehrawat 61, Soumya Tiwari 22; Anna Browning 2-18). India win by eight wickets with 34 balls remaining.