India and South Africa secure automatic qualifications while Sri Lanka and Pakistan have to take part in the qualifiers next year
The Indian and South African women, after disappointing campaigns at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2012, had something to cheer about on Wednesday (3 October). In the two qualifiers for the 2014 edition played in Colombo, India first beat Sri Lanka by nine wickets at Nondescripts Cricket Club and then South Africa beat Pakistan by five wickets at Moors Sports Club.
In the first match to finish, chasing 101, the Indian batters came to the party to win in 14.1 overs. Poonam Raut, India's most consistent batter in the tournament, remained unbeaten on 45. She put on a 64-run stand for the second wicket with Mithali Raj, the captain, who was 28 not out as India won in a canter.
Sri Lanka, who opted to bat, was restricted to 100 for 8 in 20 overs, with Chamari Atapattu, the No. 3 batter, top-scoring with 28. Her 42-run stand for the third wicket with Shashikala Siriwardene, the captain, who made 23, was the only bit where Sri Lanka looked like it would put up a competitive total.
The Indian spinners stuck to the task well, with Ekta Bisht, the left-arm spinner, picking up three wickets, while Rasanara Parwin, playing in only her second T20 international, picked up two.
In the other match, Pakistan opted to bat first, but managed only 87 in their 20 overs with Bismah Maroof top-scoring with 32. South Africa chased down the total in 19.5 overs after the Pakistan bowlers put up a fight.
Trisha Chetty (22) and Alison Hodgekinson (25) put on 47 runs for the second wicket to lay the platform for the win. Pakistan picked up three quick wickets after that to induce some panic, but South Africa managed to hold its nerves to squeeze through courtesy Dane van Niekerk, who chipped in with an unbeaten 13 in the end.
Maroof and Sadia Yousuf picked up 2 wickets each while Nida Rashid picked up one.
Pakistan’s innings never took flight and was hampered by three run outs. Shabnim Ismail was the star for South Africa, picking up three wickets, while Susan Benade and Sunette Loubser picked up one wicket each.
India and South Africa thus qualify for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2014 in Bangladesh, while Sri Lanka and Pakistan will have to play the qualifying rounds next year.