UAE qualify for first U19 T20 World Cup after title win in Malaysia

Theertha Satish leads side to victory over Thailand to book place at the main event in South Africa in January

File photo: Mahika Gaur and Theertha Satish played a key role in leading UAE to the first U19 Women's T20 World Cup. Pawan Singh / The National
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The UAE will play at the first Women's Under 19 T20 World after winning the Asian qualifying tournament.

The national age-group team beat Thailand by six wickets in the decisive final pool match in Malaysia on Thursday.

The two sides had overwhelmed the rest of the teams in the competition until that point.

In UAE's case, that meant resounding wins over Bhutan, Nepal, Malaysia and Qatar.

The fact Thailand matched their record meant the last pool game was a winner-takes-all decider.

Thailand had the the advantage of first use of the pitch after winning the toss and electing to bat.

Mahika Gaur again starred with the ball. The Dubai College schoolgirl went into the final game with extraordinary tournament figures of nine wickets for 15 runs in 15 overs in her four previous games.

She kept up her excellence against the Thais, picking up two for 11 from her four overs.

Vaishnave Mahesh also took two wickets with her leg-spin.

Although UAE's bowlers threatened to overwhelm Thailand, resistance from Phannita Maya, who made 40 from 39 balls, meant they were able to post 84 for eight from their 20 overs.

UAE endured a nervy start in reply, with Lavanya Keny being dismissed for a duck off the last ball of the first over.

Captain Theertha Satish led the pursuit, though. The left-handed opener top-scored with 38 not out as the UAE hauled in their target with four wickets in hand and 17 balls remaining.

The first U19 Women's T20 World Cup will take place in South Africa from January 2023, having been postponed in 2021 due to Covid.

It will act as a curtain-raiser for the senior Women's T20 World Cup, which will also be hosted by South Africa in February 2023.

UAE also hope feature in the senior women's event, and will have home advantage when the qualifying event for it is staged in the Emirates in September.

Updated: June 09, 2022, 8:20 AM