Sports

Zadia James Stars for Windies Women U-19 in ICC Women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup

By Reginald Andrew
Zadia James bats in opening match vs. Ireland.
Zadia James bats in opening match vs. Ireland.

Saint Lucian youth player Zadia James hit two consecutive half-centuries as the West Indies Women Under-19s earned victories in their two preliminary round matches, so far.

Zadia put on a remarkable all-round performance to steer Windies Women U-19 team to victory in their first match of the ongoing ICC Women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup versus Ireland Women U-19, on Sunday.

The match summary:

Batting first, the Windies Women U-19 scored – 125/3 (20 overs) – with Zadia James 52 (57), and Naijanni Cumberbatch *21 (27); Freya Sargent 2/9 (4), Aimee Maguire 1/16 (3).

Ireland Women U-19 – 118/7 (20 overs) – Annabel Squires 42 (38), Amy Hunter 21 (25); Zadia James 4/20 (4), Kdjazz Mitchell 1/22 (4).

Player of the Match: Zadia James (WI) 52(57), 4/20.

Opener batter James put on a solid 1st wicket partnership of 61/1 with her partner Shunell Sawh 15(25) 2×4, with the left-handed dashing player hitting 8×4 in her knock.

Zadia then utilized her slow-arm bowling to good effect to pin back some of Ireland’s top batters, to uplift the regional side as they compete for top honours in this inaugural junior global sports event.

Stated a match commentator; “The day cannot get better for Zadia James!”, as the diminutive all-rounder jumped gleefully for joy, each time she sent another batter to the hut.  Her teammates joined in to celebrate with Zadia and acknowledge her splendid performance.

Zadia James celebrates with her team mates.
Zadia James celebrates with her team mates.

Then on Tuesday, Zadia scored her second consecutive half-century 55(37)8×4, 2×6, as the Windies Women U-19s piled up 176/3(20 overs) and took down the Indonesia Women U-19s for 99/9 (20 overs) for a comprehensive 77 run victory.

Zadia put on another solid opening partnership of 95/1 (11.04) with her opening partner Shunelle Sawh 31 (36) 4×4, to set up a big score for the regional youth team. She then went on to claim 1/21 (4) to provide extra support to her teammates.

New Zealand Women U-19 is the other team in Group C.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh pulled off a starling upset victory over one of the tournament favorites – Australia, to earn a massive seven-wicket victory.

Match summary:

Australia Women U-19s – 130/5 (20 overs) – Claire Moore52 (51), Ella Hayward 35 (39); Marufa Akter2/29 (4), Disha Biswas2/25 (3).

Bangaldesh Women U-19s – 132/3 (18 overs) – Dilara Akter40 (42), Sumaiya Akter *31 (25); Chloe Ainsworth2/9 (2), Rhys McKenna1/31 (3).

According to ICC CRICKET, all 16 teams have now played at the inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup 2023, with the opening weekend throwing up some fascinating results and generating some significant talking points at this early stage of the competition.

Depth of talent is there

Away from the headline fixtures, the opening weekend of the tournament was notable for the depth in quality across the matches.

West Indies and Ireland both showed real class in their tight encounter in Potchefstroom, as had Pakistan and Rwanda earlier on Sunday – with the Rwandans a particularly exciting story for the tournament’s wider context.

New Zealand also look like an outfit that no opponent should take lightly after their crushing win over Indonesia, while last Saturday, there were hugely encouraging displays from UAE and Sri Lanka that may have slipped under the radar thanks to the headline-grabbing results elsewhere on the day.

The number of competitive teams and the level of quality seen out in the middle is a hugely encouraging sign at the start of a tournament that promises to be a hugely entertaining watch.

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