Suhani Thadani's 4 for 6 moved her atop the all-time list of best individual performances in a Women's T20I for USA, and is now the tournament's leading wicket taker with seven in three games at the 2021 ICC Americas Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier in Mexico City.
Teenage medium pacer Suhani Thadani continued her hot form at the Reforma Athletic Club in Mexico City, setting a new record for best figures by a USA player in Women’s T20Is with 4 for 6 to pin down Argentina in a 56-run win for USA on day three of the 2021 ICC Americas Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier. Thadani’s electric tournament continued as she ripped through the top order with three wickets before coming back in a late spell to claim her fourth in a Player of the Match performance as Argentina were restricted to 58 for 8 in reply to USA’s first innings total of 114.
“There is no key to my success,” Thadani said after the win. “The whole team has been working hard. We have this chemistry that I don’t see any of the other teams having and we just work so well on the field together.”
Argentina won the toss and sent USA in to bat as the Americans made two changes to their lineup from the previous day’s win over Canada. 16-year-old California batter Chetnaa Prasad was brought in to make her USA debut while Geetika Kodali was recalled for her first match of the tournament. Sara Farooq and Akshatha Rao sat out to make way for the two teenagers.
USA’s innings got off to an inauspicious start as the previous day’s Player of the Match, Gargi Bhogle, edged behind for a second ball duck to Mariana Martinez. Debutant Prasad opened alongside but only managed 3 before she was bowled by Alison Stocks to end the fifth over.
Anika Kolan was then joined by vice-captain Shebani Bhaskar and the pair generated USA’s most productive partnership of the day, adding 40 for the third wicket. Kolan excelled with her aggressive running between the wickets but also showed exquisite timing on a series of straight drives to score two of USA’s four boundaries in the innings. Kolan made 26 before she drove loosely to extra cover where Maria Castineiras took a sharp catch diving right to make it 69 for 3 in the 12th over.
The wicket of Kolan sparked a dramatic middle-order collapse as USA lost 6 for 10 to fall to 79 for 8. Isani Vaghela was bowled by a yorker from Constanza Sosa for 3 before Sindhu Sriharsha fell in somewhat bizarre fashion for a golden duck to Sosa, sweeping a ball from outside leg stump back off the back of her bat onto the stumps. Tara Norris then flicked a full toss from Stocks to Lucia Taylor at short midwicket for 1 before Moksha Chaudhary was stumped drifting slightly out of her crease for a second ball duck. Uzma Iftikhar ended the sequence being runout for a second ball duck when Bhaskar turned down a run to square leg as Tamara Basile’s relay to wicketkeeper Malena Lollo beat Iftikhar’s attempt to get back in.
Kodali’s arrival temporarily settled nerves as she teamed with Bhaskar for a brisk 35-run stand in just four overs to take USA back into a comfortably defendable position. Kodali used her feet well, making 12 off 14 balls to be USA’s only other player besides Kolan and Bhaskar to cross into double figures. Bhaskar was eventually runout for 29 when trying to set off for a run to silly mid-on but was denied by quick work from Lollo coming out from behind the stumps on the last ball of the 19th. Kodali was then bowled on the first ball of the 20th by Taylor to end the innings. Sosa ended with 3 for 19 in three overs while Stocks claimed 3 for 13 with a maiden. Extras top-scored in the innings for USA with 40, including 27 wides.
In reply, nobody made it into double figures for Argentina as extras top-scored with 29 out of their 58 runs. The first Argentine wicket fell for 12, the same total they had been bowled out for a day earlier by Brazil, when Thadani struck with her third ball of the day after entering in the sixth over, inducing a drive from Taylor to Bhogle at extra cover. Thadani struck again in her next over, getting captain Veronica Vazquez clean bowled for 6.
Iftikhar struck next in the ninth, getting Martinez to sky a cut over Kolan at point, who waited for the ball to come down for a simple catch. Lollo was then runout three balls later, trying to steal a second run at third man where Tara Norris ran back from slip to relay in plenty of time to Sriharsha over the stumps. Martinez became Thadani’s third victim in the 10th over, edging behind to make it 30 for 5 as Argentina’s hopes of an unlikely upset quickly faded.
Iftikhar was on a hat-trick in the 13th over when she claimed Stocks on a mistimed pull edged behind to Sriharsha before bowling Martina Del Valle on a misguided slog first ball to be bowled for a golden duck. With four fielders crowded around the bat close in on the off side, Julieta Cullen survived an edge through backward point on the hat-trick ball as Iftikhar ended with figures of 3 for 9 in four overs including a maiden.
Thadani was brought back in the 18th for her final over and struck on the fourth ball, getting Castineiras to edge behind to Sriharsha. The California teen broke Iftikhar’s previous USA Women’s T20I best mark of 4 for 19 made against Canada in May 2019 at the same tournament in Florida. Argentina’s tail batted out the final 14 balls of the innings, adding three more runs for the final margin. Chaudhary (0 for 6 in four), Norris (0 for 8 in three), Vaghela (0 for 14 in two), and Kodali (0 for 12 in three) all went wicketless on the day.
USA is back into action on Friday when they take on Brazil, who scored a rousing victory on Thursday afternoon by bowling out Canada for 47 in an eventual five-wicket win. The match is scheduled for a 2 pm start local time in Mexico City.