Theertha Satish insists T20 World Cup disappointment will make UAE stronger

Qualifier defeat against Papua New Guinea in Abu Dhabi means dream is over with one group game still to go

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Theertha Satish insists UAE will emerge stronger for the experience despite having their chances of reaching the Women’s T20 World Cup ended by Papua New Guinea.

The 18-year-old wicketkeeper led the resistance with a fine half-century but was unable to ward off a 29-run defeat at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi.

It was the national team’s second loss in consecutive days, having fallen to a seven-wicket defeat to Thailand at Zayed Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

It means they will not be able to reach the semi-finals, even with one more group game still to go against Zimbabwe on Wednesday.

“It is hard to take, but sometimes losses make you the person you are,” Theertha said.

“It is good the amount of lessons we have learnt from these matches.”

Although the senior version is now out of reach, Theertha still has an Under 19 World Cup to look forward to next year – as will a variety of her teammates in this competition.

UAE’s squad for the Qualifier has an average age of just 20, and there were three 15-year-olds in the line up to face PNG.

“The way these girls play, they use their feet, they manipulate the ball into gaps, and that is what we need in our skill sets,” Theertha said.

“It is great to be able to competing against the best teams here. We can take it into the next games, and throughout our entire lives and careers.”

One of the 15-year-olds, Samaira Dharnidharka, took three for 22, but Tanya Ruma powered PNG to 148-6 from their 20 overs with a six-laden half-century.

Theertha top scored with 68 in reply, and shared a 53-run stand with Kavisha Kumari, but the host nation fell short as they reached 119-8.

“Even though the score was 148, I don’t think any of us gave up once the second innings had started,” Theertha said.

“We wanted to fight till the end, and we could have got close if we had taken our chances.

“Overall, it was a good effort and surely if this situation comes up again we will have much more confidence going in, especially considering most of our players are U19s.”

UAE’s next opponents, Zimbabwe, went to the top of the group by easing past Thailand by six wickets on the adjacent field.

Zimbabwe limited Thailand to 86-6 from their 20 overs, then overhauled the target within 17 overs.

The two finalists in the eight-team competition will advance to the World Cup in South Africa next February.

The UAE still have major competition to look forward to, when they will play at the Asia Cup in Bangladesh next month.

Updated: September 19, 2022, 3:24 PM