Parshavi Chopra's sensational spell of 4/5 guided India to a dominating seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in their second Super Six match of the 2023 ICC Under-19 Women's T20 World Cup, at Senwes Park on Sunday.
India needed a victory in Sunday's game to stay in contention for a spot in the semis, following the 7 wicket loss to Australia on Saturday, and the team pulled off an easy victory after restricting the Lankans to 59/9 in their 20 overs.
Chopra cast a spell of accuracy and deception, nabbing four wickets for just 5 runs in her spell of four brilliant overs, which also included a maiden.
Amongst those was the key wicket of Sri Lanka captain Vishmi Gunaratne, who was bowled advancing down the wicket. She played for the conventional leg spin but Chopra had served up a googly, and the ball slipped past Gunaratne and crashed into the off-stump.
At that point, the Sri Lankan skipper was going well on 25 (28 balls, with two boundaries), while the rest of her side collapsed around her after they were asked to bat first by India.
Chopra's incisive spell saw Sri Lanka eventually reduced to 59 for nine in their allotted 20 overs, with only Umaya Rathnayake (13 from 36 balls) managing to reach double figures with the bat.
India's resolve to bounce back immediately was evident in how miserly they were; just one wide was given away in the extras' column. Mannat Kashyap took two for 16, while Titas Sadhu started the collapse by claiming a wicket with the very first ball of the day.
The chase from India was just as resolute. In her post-match interview, captain, Shafali Verma, admitted that the team had set themselves a target of eight overs to reach victory and they did just that. She led the charge, belting a six and a four in her 10-ball 15, while the in-form Shweta Sehrawat fell for 13, just as she was getting into her stride.
Richa Ghosh hit her first ball to the fence and was then caught off the next, as Dewmi Wijerathne claimed three wickets.
Sri Lanka could do nothing to stop the free-scoring Soumya Tiwari, who clattered five boundaries on her way to 28 not out, from just 15 deliveries. She attacked anything loose, as India improved their net run rate significantly, reaching their target after just 7.2 overs.
India now faces a nervy wait to see what else transpires in their Super Six group. They sit on six points, while Australia and Bangladesh have four each. Both those sides still have one last match to play -- both facing the UAE -- and net run rate will become a deciding factor if they both emerge victorious.