UAE girls
UAE girls make a pretty picture after winning the final league game against Thailand and qualifying for the U19 World Cup. Image Credit: Twitter

Dubai: UAE Under-19 girls sealed a berth in the first-ever World Cup in South Africa next year when they beat Thailand by six wickets in their last game in Qualifiers at the Kinara Oval in Kuala Lumpur today.

In what was a virtual final between the two unbeaten teams so far, the UAE bowlers restricted Thailand to 84 for eight from their 20 overs, with Phannita Maya topscoring for them with 40 off 39 balls. Mahika Gaur, their left-arm seamer who went into the final game with tournament figures of nine wickets for 15 runs in 15 overs in her four previous games, was at her economical best to pick up two wickets for 11 runs.

Chasing a target of 85, the UAE lost opening batter Lavanya Keny for a duck off the last ball of the first over. Theertha Satish, their captain and left-handed batter, anchored the chase as UAE reached their target with 17 balls to go.

It was a completely dominating performance by the UAE girls, who scored emphatic wins over over Bhutan, Nepal, Malaysia and Qatar as Satish and Gaur were among their standout performers.

The performance of the youth team could spur on the UAE senior team, captained by Chaya Mughal, who have qualified for the global qualifiers to be held in the UAE in September.

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 there in February 2023.