England powered into the Super Six League stage of the inaugural ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup with a massive, 138 run win over Rwanda in their third and final Group B match in Potchefstroom.
The win, made possible by setting the East Africans 184 to win and dismissing them for 45, confirmed a 100% record as they got into the business end of the tournament.
Player of the match, Liberty Heap’s belligerent 64 (35 balls, 12 fours) in a huge opening stand with captain, Grace Scrivens laid the foundation for the win.
The bowlers all chipped in with wickets, with an elite wicket-keeping display by Maddie Ward – who took two stumpings and a catch down leg on her 18th birthday – as well as a one-handed, diving caught and bowled effort by Davina Perrin were two of the game’s eye-catching highlights.
Having narrowly missed out on posting a total of 200 by a single in their group match against Zimbabwe, England batting after winning the toss was probably an attempt to reach that milestone.
Openers Heap and Scrivens had clearly got the memo, helping themselves to the Rwandan bowling and racing to 62/0 after the power play and 106 for none at the halfway stage of the innings.
By the time Heap fell as the first wicket after 12.3overs, the two had compiled 123 for the opening partnership, the highest in the competition, opening or otherwise.
Bizarrely, both perished in the same over and in the same manner – stumped off the bowling of spinner Sylvia Usabyimana – with Scrivens’ 52 coming off 43 balls (five fours and two sixes).
Although a touch expensive, Usabyimana was instrumental to putting the brakes on in the second half of the England innings, taking 3/39 off her four overs while captain Gisele Ishimwe (1/25 off three overs) and Henriette Ishimwe bowled with control towards the death.
This went a long way towards them restricting their opponents to just 77 runs for the loss of five wickets in the second half of their innings.
While keen to build on their start, the rest of the English batters seemed to struggle with the lack of pace of the Rwandan bowling attack and running in the oppressive heat of the North West University Oval.
Rwanda were sedate in their start to chasing the target of 184 and never got livelier, with their score at the halfway mark of their innings on 31/4.
Scores in brief:
Toss: England, who elected to bat.
England 183 for 5 in 20 overs (Liberty Heap 64, Grace Scrivens 52, Sylvia Usabyimana three for 39, Gisele Ishimwe one for 25)
Rwanda 45 all out in 17 overs (Henriette Ishimwe 12, Cynthia Tuyizere 6, Ryana McDonald-Gay two for 1, Hannah Baker two for 9)
England won by 138 runs.