Held this year in Lima, Peru, the South American Championships showcased top international talent from around the continent, with the addition of Central Americans Mexico in both Men’s and Women’s disciplines. Brazil dominated the Women’s competition to defend their crown, while Argentina claimed the Men’s crown, defeating 2018 champions Mexico in the final.
Men’s Group Stage
Beginning in 1995 and held annually since 2013, the Men’s Championships have been dominated by Argentina, with nine tournament wins in fifteen editions before the 2019 tournament. Looking to stamp their authority on proceedings, they cruised to a nine wicket win against defending champions Mexico, on the morning of day one.
Despite a stumble to Colombia on the second afternoon in no small part to an all-round Nick Barsby masterclass, the Argentinians regathered to topple Peru, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. Mexico’s path to the final was more complex after their day one defeat, compounded further by a four wicket defeat to Chile. Wins over Colombia, Brazil and Peru flung Mexico into a final spot, with their comprehensive 39-run victory over the Peruvians playing a crucial part in beating them out on net run rate.
In a boost for their ICC membership aspirations, Colombia and Uruguay’s participation brought extra competition to the men’s draw, even if matches involving them were not recognised as T20 internationals. Finishing fourth and fifth respectively, Colombia and Uruguay registered two wins in the tournament, alongside Brazil and Chile who only fell behind on net run rate.
Women’s Group Stage
In its tenth edition, the Women’s Championships expanded from 2018’s edition, growing to five teams in 2019, with Argentina joining Chile, Mexico, Peru and Brazil. Fielding guest players in last year’s competition, Peru joined Argentina as T20I debutants, in another milestone moment in their development.
Brazil dominated the Women’s competition, finishing unbeaten heading into the final. Knocking over Chile by nine wickets, they amassed 202-3 against Peru, 152-3 against Mexico, and cruised to a six wicket win against Argentina in the group stage to lock up a final spot.
Outside of their defeat to Brazil in the group stage, Argentina secured their spot in the finale with relative ease, defeating Chile by eight wickets, after posting 152 and 208 against Peru and Mexico respectively.
Winning the toss and batting, Mexico’s aspirations of a strong start were curtailed by Argentina’s Jon Hurley, who picked up the wicket of Andrew Westphal with his first ball. Shantanu Kaveri followed soon after being run out by Lautaro Musiani, as Argentina gave no quarter in the Power Play.
Hurley continued the charge, and in doing so put Argentina on top. Bowling his four overs straight at the top of the innings, he claimed Jagdeesh Umanath and Revan Ankad in consecutive balls, leaving Mexico reeling at 33-4 after 8 overs.
After Luis Alberto Hermida fell to Agustin Husain, Shashikant Laxman made his way out to bat with his team in a hole at 38-5 late in the 11th over. Laxman went alone with four fours and a pair of sixes handing his team a chance of posting a competitive total.
Mexico looked to finish their innings strongly, though the 19th over, bowled by Ruann van der Merwe, swung momentum into the Argentines’ favour. Claiming both Gaurav Dutta and Laxman, Mexico’s tail were unable to pick up the task, finishing on 105.
Despite the early loss of Hernan Fennell, Argentina chipped away with contributions from Ramiro Escobar Escobar, Musiani and Martin Siri. At 69-4, Alejandro Ferguson entered nursed home Argentina’s chase with control. Still needing 13 for victory after the loss of Pedro Baron, Ferguson faced 15 of the last 18 balls to finish the job.
Argentina on the final day had teams in both finals, with the Flamingos taking on Brazil in the women’s competition.
Brazil won the toss and elected to bowl, making inroads in the first over. Maria Castiñeiras was claimed caught behind off the bowling of Renata Souza, and the dismissal set the tone for the rest of the innings. Outside of Veronica Vasquez’s 26, no other Argentine reached double figures. Brazil’s Nikki Monteiro finished with figures of 4-15, with her second over of her off-spin being the only maiden of the encounter.
Coasting at 40-1, Brazil looked comfortable in reply, though the loss of 20-5 in the middle overs handed the Argentines a way back in the contest. Despite the loss of Roberta Moretti Avery, the leading run scorer of the tournament, Brazil held their nerve through Gabriella Cristina Cristina to claim the 2019 title by four wickets and with 18 balls to spare.