17-year-old allrounder Ritu Singh was the center of attention in the team huddle as she produced her second standout performance of the tournament, this time taking 4 wickets for 3 runs to help cement a 10-wicket win over Brazil and take USA one step closer to the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Global Qualifier.
Photo credit: Peter Della Penna
By Peter Della Penna in Los Angeles (Twitter/X @PeterDellaPenna)
Ritu Singh picked up her second Player of the Match award in the space of three matches with figures of 4 for 3 to help bowl out Brazil for 42, their lowest total in a completed innings in Women’s T20Is, before Gargi Bhogle and Disha Dhingra needed just eight overs to knock off the runs in a 10-wicket win for USA Women on day five of the 2023 ICC Americas Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, California.
USA moved to 5-0 with the win and stretched their net run rate advantage over Canada to a difference of +0.795. Canada would not only need to beat USA to force a tiebreak at 5-1, but win by approximately 37 runs or chase a target in approximately 12.2 overs in order to overtake USA on the net run rate tiebreaker. USA will finish as tournament champions with a win, or a loss by less than either approximate margin when the teams square off on Monday in the final match of the tournament.
USA lost the toss for the fifth match in a row, but on this occasion fielded first for the only time in the tournament after Brazil captain Roberta Moretti Avery chose to bat first under sunny conditions on a pitch being used for its 10th match. Brazil went into the match without Renata de Sousa, who needed stitches in her lip after taking a blow to the mouth while fielding a day earlier against Canada and was held out as a precautionary move. USA made two changes to their XI from a win over Argentina two days earlier with Onika Wallerson and Jivana Aras being swapped out in favor of Jessica Willathgamuwa and Uzma Iftikhar.
In a performance that was dominated by USA’s offspinners, Aditi Chudasama struck in the first over of play with a sharp turning offbreak that pierced the bat pad gap of Laura Agatha for a golden duck to make it 1 for 1 after three balls. Iftikhar received a stroke of good fortune in the fifth over when a low full toss was punched by Lindsay Vilas Boas to Geetika Kodali at cover for 6. Isani Vaghela was on a hat-trick for the second time in the tournament in the sixth over when Laura Cardoso was bowled by a full length delivery for a third ball duck before Monnike Machado edged her first ball behind into the gloves of Sindhu Sriharsha to make it 12 for 4. Iftikhar struck for the second time in the seventh, getting Avery to heave another full toss out to deep midwicket where Singh took a sharp catch on the run five yards inside the rope for 3.
Singh entered in the ninth and bowled a remarkable triple-wicket maiden to make it 19 for 8. It started with the wicket of Nicole Monteiro sweeping a full delivery to Vaghela at deep square leg, who misjudged the chance initially by running in too far from the boundary before adjusting to take a catch above her head for 1. Maria Silva Garcia was bowled prodding down the wrong line three balls later before Evelyn Muller ended the over falling for a second-ball duck when she chipped a full delivery to Dhingra at mid-on.
Carolina Nascimento and Ana Sabino teamed for a 20-run stand for the ninth wicket to stretch out the innings before Nascimento prodded a catch to Dhingra at extra cover off the bowling of Suhani Thadani for a top score of 18. Singh then returned to end the innings with her fourth scalp, getting Maria Ribeiro to slice a leading edge to Kodali at short extra cover for 2.
Aside from Singh’s figures of 4 for 3 in three overs with two maidens, Iftikhar finished with 2 for 8 in three overs while Vaghela claimed 2 for 9 in four. Chudasama had 1 for 6 in four overs while Thadani ended with 1 for 7 in three.
Dhingra got USA’s chase started with a boundary through point and eventually ended with 14 not out off 20 balls including two fours. Bhogle struck the first ball she faced for four in the second over and eventually ended the match striking her fourth boundary for the winning runs off the final ball of the eighth over, ending on 26 not out off 28 balls.
In the day’s other match, Canada struggled against Argentina, getting bowled out off the final ball of their innings for 113, but eventually held on for a 37 -run win after dismissing Argentina for 76 in 19.4 overs.
The final day of tournament action will see Argentina and Brazil face off at 9:30 am local time while the rematch between USA and Canada is set for a 2 pm local start time.