World Cup debutants fly high as fancied teams fall short

Rwanda warmed up for their first-ever ICC World Cup with a thrilling victory while India and hosts South Africa will want to fine-tune their form after disappointing losses.

The World Cup debutants Rwanda pushed their relative inexperience aside with a controlled innings to score 103/7 as four batters reached double figures.

Belise Murekatete (26 from 28 balls) was the pick of the batters as her middle-innings heroics ensured Rwanda reached their competitive total.

The Ireland openers Siuin Woods (16 from 26) and Amy Hunter (41 from 47) prized their wickets early, as did first-drop Joanna Loughran (27 from 37), but they were unable to pick up the pace late when required as Rwanda sealed a confidence-boosting win.

India fall short

Bangladesh stunned India in similar fashion, after reaching 121/7 then holding off their more fancied opponent by three runs in a thrilling finish.

India looked to be in control of the chase with all but two of their wickets in hand, but miscalculated what was required and ended agonizingly short of their target on 118/2.

Australia makes a statement

U19 T20 World Cup hosts South Africa will want to quickly turn around their form after being bowled out for only 61 against the highly-fancied Australia.

Karabo Meso (24 from 20 balls) played a lone hand as the only South Africa batter to reach double figures, while Rhys McKenna (3/7) and Charis Bekker 2/6) did the damage for Australia.

Australia lost a couple of early wickets to Kayla Reyneke (2/5) before Ella Hayward (34* from 30) and Claire Moore (21 from 26) came together to complete the 8-wicket triumph and fire a warning shot to the rest of the competition.

Kiwis cruise past Pakistan

New Zealand comfortably chased down Pakistan’s total of 109/6 with 7 wickets and more than five overs in hand after openers Antonia Hamilton (36* from 34 balls) and Georgia Plimmer (27 from 20) set up the win with an assertive start.

Pakistan opener Eyman Fatima (45 from 46) and first-drop Warda Yousaf (23 from 43) battled hard against the Kiwi quicks but their slower scoring left the middle order with too much to do.

Rwanda’s clash with Pakistan in their U19 Women’s T20 World Cup on 15 January now looms as one to watch in the opening round.

Young gun fires for West Indies

The West Indies warmed up with a commanding display after restricting Zimbabwe to 71/8 from their 20 overs.

Medium pacer Jahzara Claxton stood out with some tight bowling and two wickets, as the 16-year-old improved her chances of being selected for the West Indies’ U19 T20 World Cup opener against Ireland on 15 January.

West Indies opener Shunelle Sawh (19 from 37 balls) and No.3 Naijanni Cumberbatch (22 from 21) spent valuable time at the crease to help secure a six-wicket victory.

England ease to victory

England made light work of Indonesia with a 10-wicket victory as they chased down the 46 runs needed with 14.5 overs to spare.

Openers Grace Scrivens (26 from 15 balls) and Niamh Holland (19 from 17) completed the chase with ease but can expect a tougher test against Zimbabwe on 15 January.

England used the Indonesia innings to trial eight bowlers with Ryana Macdonald-Gay the only one to use their full allocation. The right-armer was arguably the stand-out and took 2/8.

USA and Sri Lanka impress

The USA put in a composed display as they posted 122/7 then restricted the UAE to 91/6.

Sri Lanka also impressed as they dismissed Scotland for 87 and then chased it down with seven wickets in hand.

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