Indonesia might not have won the inaugural ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup, but they have won many hearts during their stay in South Africa. On Friday, in the stifling heat of Benoni, they also made history as they claimed their first ever World Cup victory, besting Zimbabwe in a play-off between countries that finished fourth in their groups.
The celebrations that followed each wicket were matched in ecstasy and energy by the eruption of joy when Ni Made Suarniasih claimed the winning run by three wickets.
Ni Luh Ketut Wesika Ratna Dewi ensured that her name will be remembered, as she picked up five for 18 in a sparkling display on the field for her and the team she has led with aplomb.
In their final match before heading home, they were out to impress. After Zimbabwe elected to bat first, Wesika immediately made them regret it, as she bowled Natasha Mbomba with the very first ball of the match.
She repeated the dose two balls later, removing the other opener for Zimbabwe, Kay Ndiraya, with an identical bit of in-swing bowling. Wesika’s control of her new ball boomerangs has been one of the highlights of the tournament – as have the choreographed celebrations that follow each Indonesian wicket.
They were at it again in Benoni on Friday, dancing and welcoming each wicket with infectious smiles. Zimbabwe were not smiling, however, as they were reduced to 17 for four inside the first five overs.
Indonesia could do little wrong, and the catch that dismissed Kelly Ndiraya confirmed that. She slapped a cut that would have hurtled to the boundary, but it instead went straight to cover-point, where Thersiana Feibrene Catrina Penu Weo snapped it up inches off the ground.
Her delight was Ndiraya’s despair, as Zimbabwe battled to get going. Danielle Meikle did put up a fight, with four boundaries in her knock of 20 from 19 balls. But she was also a victim of the irrepressible Wesika, bowled as she tried to help one to the on-side.
Adel Zimunu (13 from 29 balls) stuck around until she was trapped in front by Ni Kadek Ariani. Zimbabwe eventually had to settle for 86 for eight in their 20 overs.
The chase was not without drama. Indonesia also lost a wicket early, to the second ball of the innings, as Meikle trapped Ni Kadek Ariani in front. Wesika (14), Thersiana Penu Weo (14) and Gusti Ulansari (10) all chipped in, but Zimbabwe stayed in the hunt with regular breakthroughs.
When the sunglasses-clad Chipo Moyo (three for 12) struck twice in the 13th over, Indonesia found themselves at a nervous 62 for six – still 25 runs shy of a monumental victory. It was left to Ni Kadek Dwi Indriyani (9 not out) and Ni Made Suarniasih(12 not out) to guide the ship tentatively home.
And when they got there, no one could begrudge them their unbridled joy.
Scores in brief:
Toss: Zimbabwe, who elected to bat first.
Zimbabwe 86 for eight in 20 overs (Danielle Meikle 20, Tawana Marumani 20, Adel Zimunu 13, Ni Luh Ketut Wesika Ratna Dewi five for 18, Ni Kadek Ariani two for 7)
Indonesia 87 for 7 in 18 overs (Ni Luh Ketut Wesika Ratna Dewi 14, Thersiana Penu Weo 14, Ni Made Suarniasih 12 not out, Kelis Ndhlovu three for 8, Chipo Moyo three for 12)
Indonesia won by three wickets.