Shreyanka Patil, Kanika Ahuja impress in India A’s title-winning campaign | Crickit
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Shreyanka Patil, Kanika Ahuja impress in India A’s title-winning campaign

Jun 21, 2023 11:58 PM IST

Shriyanka Patil won the player of the tournament award as she was the highest-wicket taker while Kanika Ahuja won player of the match in the final.

Shweta Sehrawat-led India A beat Bangladesh A by 31 runs in the final to emerge as champions of the ACC Women’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

Shreyanka Patil celebrating with her teammates(Twitter/BCCI Women)
Shreyanka Patil celebrating with her teammates(Twitter/BCCI Women)

It was meant to be a tournament that provided youngsters much-needed game-time and an opportunity to showcase their skills. Unfortunately, as many as eight of the 15 matches were abandoned due to rain.

India clinched the title on the back of just two victories — one in the group stage and then in the final – with their other three games, including the semi-final, getting washed-out.

In the group stage of the eight-team T20 competition, India earned a massive victory over hosts Honk Kong before their matches against Nepal and Pakistan were abandoned. That one win was enough to help them top Group A and qualify for the semi-finals against Sri Lanka, but sadly, that game was postponed due to rain and washed-out on the reserve day too. Because India had a superior net run-rate than Sri Lanka in the group stage, they qualified for the final. Bangladesh, meanwhile, topped Group B and edged out Pakistan by six runs in a rain-curtailed semi-final.

Grabbing opportunities

With the tournament panning out the way it did, there was limited scope for the players to make a mark. Uma Chetry from Assam was the highest-run scorer for India with 38 runs from two innings. However, it was Shreyanka Patil and Kanika Ahuja who impressed the most from the Indian team. Playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, both these youngsters had also caught attention during the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League earlier this year. While Patil had picked six wickets and scored 62 runs in seven games in the WPL, Ahuja had hit 98 runs and claimed two wickets.

In the Emerging Teams Asia Cup, Patil won the player of the tournament award as she was the highest-wicket taker. The 20-year-old off-spinner returned with remarkable figures of 5/2 as India beat Hong Kong by nine wickets in their opener, and followed that up with 4/13 in the final.

Ahuja, on the other hand, was the player of the match in the final after her all-round performance. The 20-year-old left-hander smashed an unbeaten 30 off 23 as India posted a total of 127/7, before claiming 2/23 with her off-breaks to help bowl-out Bangladesh for 96.

Vrinda Dinesh, with a 29-ball 36, and Mannat Kashyap, with figures of 3/20, were the other key performers for India in the final.

“Congratulations to these future Indian superstars on their victory in the Womens Emerging Teams Asia Cup final,” wrote former India captain Mithali Raj on Twitter. “Defending a fighting total, the bowlers were in top form right from the word go, denying the opponents any chance to make a comeback. This triumph marks the beginning of great things to come.”

Players of the senior Indian women’s team, meanwhile, have not been in action since the WPL ended on March 26. Their next assignment is a tour of Bangladesh, where they will compete in three T20 Internationals and as many ODIs starting from July 9.

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