U19 Women’s T20 World Cup: England Set-up Final With India After Thrilling 3-run Victory Over Australia

Last Updated: January 27, 2023, 23:47 IST

Hannah Baker of England celebrates with teammates after bowling out Paris Hall of Australia, who is dismissed by leg-before-wicket, during the ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup 2023 Semi Final match between England and Australia at JB Marks Oval. (ICC Image)

Australia losing their first two wickets for just four runs meant a cliffhanger was on the cards, with England the eventual winners

England held their nerve to beat Australia by just three runs and book their place in the inaugural ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup at JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom.

With their powerful batting line-up having faltered in posting 99 all out and leaving Australia exactly 100 runs at under a run a ball to win, an intense effort in the field and with the ball somehow defended that modest target.

Player of the match Hannah Baker led the charge, the leg-spinner’s beguiling spell netting her figures of 3/10 off four overs, with skipper Grace Scrivens supporting her with figures of 2/8 off 3.4 overs and getting the last wicket to fall by trapping Maggie Clark in front for a duck.

The low run rate in the chase and Amy Smith’s run-a-ball 26 (three fours) kept Australia in the game, but once Smith holed out to long-off off Josie Groves’ bowling with the score on 77, England had all but set a date with India in Sunday’s final.

Just as they had done throughout the tournament, England chose to bat after winning the toss to hopefully put a big total on the board and let scoreboard pressure do its thing, but the Australian bowling attack had different ideas about allowing them to set a challenging target.

Having gone unchallenged by the bowling attacks from previous matches all tournament, England found the Aussies tough to handle, with Sianna Ginger (3/13), Maggie Clark (3/15) and Ella Hayward (3/25) making relatively light work of one of the more explosive batting line-ups around.

Having scored the most runs in the tournament (269 from five matches) before the semi-final encounter, Scrivens posted a run-a-ball 20 before being the sixth wicket out.

For the brief period she was in, middle-order batter Seren Smale looked like she was batting on a different surface, but an unlucky LBW decision went against her for a 10-ball 10 (two fours), leaving lower order batters Alexa Stonehouse and Josie Groves to pick up the pieces.

The two compiled a gutsy eighth-wicket partnership of 46 from 46 balls, Stonehouse top-scoring with 25 off 33 (two fours) and Groves chipping in with 15. That partnership was the main reason England got to 99 all out, which also told them they were in the game as the biggest total scored against them in the tournament was 103 by Pakistan.

Australia losing their first two wickets for just four runs meant a cliffhanger was on the cards, with England the eventual winners in a finish that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Scores in brief:

Toss: England, who elected to bat.

England 99 all out in 19.5 overs (Alexa Stonehouse 25, Grace Scrivens 20, Sianna Ginger three for 13, Maggie Clark three for 15)

Australia 96 all out after 18.4 overs (Amy Smith 26, Claire Moore 20, Hannah Baker three for 10, Grace Scrivens two for 8)

England won by three runs after 18.4 overs.

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