Sensational Sehrawat powers India to seven-wicket triumph over SA -
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Sensational Sehrawat powers India to seven-wicket triumph over SA

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Khel Today Bureau

New Delhi: A dazzling 92 not out from Shweta Sehrawat spearheaded India’s dominant, seven-wicket victory over hosts South Africa, in their ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup Group D clash at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Saturday afternoon.

Sehrawat only needed 57 balls, as she drilled 20 boundaries all over the park, to see India home with 21 balls to spare, and start their World Cup campaign in a most confident fashion.

Earlier, South Africa had won the toss and elected to bat first. That decision looked the correct one, especially after they took 20 runs off the opening over of the match. Elandri Janse van Rensburg (23 off 13 balls) smashed two sixes and two fours in the first over, as South Africa got off to a sizzling start.

Fellow opener Simone Lourens was the star for the home side, with a brisk 61 from just 44 deliveries. Madison Landsman finished the innings strongly, with a swift, unbeaten 32 from just 17 balls. She hit five boundaries and a six, as she raised South Africa to 166 for five in their allotted overs.

The response from India was emphatic. Sehrawat and Shafali Verma (45 from 16 balls) charged out the blocks, with the skipper drilling nine boundaries and a six in a super charged start. They put on 77 in seven overs, before Shafali fell to Miane Smit. Verma expressed her experience with distinction, showing why she is a formerly top-ranked batter in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings and why she is presently ranked sixth in the world.

Sehrawat then got into her stride, driving and pulling imperiously. South Africa tried several bowling options, but it was to no avail. India had an eye on a bonus-point to really put gloss on the finish, but they did lose two wickets as they closed in on victory.

The end came midway through the 17th over, with the winning runs fittingly smashed by the glittering Sehrawat. She cut a wide one away for four, and India’s warning shot was heard throughout the tournament.

On this form, they will take some beating.

Score in brief:

Toss: South Africa, who chose to bat first.

South Africa 166 for five in 20 overs ( Simone Lourens 61, Madison Landsman 32)

India 170 for three in 16.3 overs (Shweta Sehrawat 92 not out, Shafali Verma 45)

India won by seven wickets with 21 balls to spare.

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