Sunday, May 26, 2024

Cricket Canada: Canada’s Divya Saxena voted 2022 ICC T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier Tournament MVP

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Photo Credit: Cricket Canada

Canada’s Divya Saxena was voted Tournament MVP at the conclusion of the October 18-25, Mexico hosted ICC Women’s 2022 T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier. Saxena, who also emerged as the Tournament’s Best Batter, won the prestigious award on the basis of her outstanding all-round performances in Canada’s six matches played. 

Saxena scored 180 runs from six innings batted during the tournament at an average of 60.00. She was undefeated in three of her six innings which included a 70 not out in Canada’s opening match against Argentina, as the tournament’s highest individual score. Saxena also captured two wickets with her right arm slow medium bowling and held as many catches as well.

Argentina, Brazil and the USA were the other participating teams for the Mexico hosted seven day tournament. The Canadians finished the tournament with a 3-3 win/loss record. The Canadians’ three wins included a historic and exciting October 24 seven run victory over their neighboring arch-rivals and eventual tournament champions the USA. The victory marked the first time a Canadian National Women’s team had defeated its American rivals in over ten years. The victory also reversed the result of the two team’s first round encounter which the US had won comfortably by 10 wickets with 55 balls to spare.

Canada also suffered very close, nail-biting defeats in both of its matches against the eventual tournament runners-up Brazil. On October 21, having been sent in to bat by Brazil on a bowler friendly pitch, Canada was dismissed for a paltry 47 in 19.5 overs. Canada’s bowlers, however, made a valiant effort to snatch an improbable victory, before the Brazilians eventually triumphed by reaching their target for the loss of five wickets with eleven balls to spare.

Canada’s October 25, second round encounter with Brazil, both teams’ final match of the tournament, was an even bigger nail biter. Having sent the Brazilians to bat, the Canadians bowled brilliantly to restrict the Samba Queens to a paltry 47/7 in the 17 overs that were allowed after overnight rains had delayed the match from starting by over an hour.

Needing just 48 to win, the Canadians were setback by the early losses of their top two batters, Divya Saxena and Miriam Khokar, within the first three overs and with the score on only 10. They eventually recovered, however, to get within just three runs of their target at the start of the 16th and final over with the score on 46/5. The Canadians then incredibly lost their remaining wickets of the last five balls of the match, two via the run out route and the remaining three to a hat trick from Brazil’s Laura Cardoso the tournament’s best bowler and leading wicket-taker to eventually fall short by just two runs.

Canada’s other two tournament wins were both against fourth placed Argentina. The Argentineans failed to secure a win from any of their six matches played.


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