Sweden make a winning start to international cricket
Sweden conducted a domestic T20 competition ahead of their international debut against Norway. © Cricket Sweden
Sweden began their journey in international cricket with a win over Norway on Sunday (August 29) at Guttsta Wicked Cricket Club in Sweden.
Opting to field, the Swedish bowlers were on the money right away. Neeha Kayani dismissed Farial Safdar (zero) on the third ball of the game and Norway skipper Pooja Kumari (zero) on the fifth ball to begin with a double-wicket over. The very next over saw the tourists lose Anna Dastgir (zero) as well as Ramya Immadi (one) to be four wickets for 11.
Ayesha Hasan was the only batter who provided some sort of resistance for Norway. She held one end up even as wickets fell at the other and helped Norway add 31 for the last two wickets to cross 52. Eventually, she carried her bat for 11, even as Norway were bowled out for 52. Kayani shone with three for 15 for Sweden.
If Sweden thought that a win in their very first T20I would be an easy passage, they were mistaken. They lost opener Cecellia Elmsjoo for a duck in the first over with Safdar striking. An over later, fellow opener Signe Lundell also fell for four.
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Captain Gunjan Shukla and wicketkeeper-batter Meghana Alungunoolla then added 16 for the third wicket before the former fell for 15. Three more wickets fell in quick succession as the hosts were reeling at six for 36. Kumari and Safdar had picked four of the six wickets to have fallen at that point.
Alungunoolla (nine) then took Sweden towards the 50-run mark but fell just short. However, the hosts managed to cross the line with two wickets in the bank. Both Kumari and Safdar finished with three wickets apiece for Norway.
Brief Scores: Norway 52 all out in 12 overs (Ayesha Hasan 12*; Neesha Kayani 3/15) lost to Sweden 53/8 in 12.1 overs (Gunjan Shukla 15; Farial Safdar 3/9, Pooja Kumari 3/10) by two wickets