Shafali Verma lit up the Darren Sammy International Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet in St. Lucia with her powerful-hitting in the first T20I between India Women and West Indies Women. The 15-year-old scored 73 runs from 49 deliveries, which included six boundaries and four maximums, and in the course, she also became the youngest Indian batter (men and women) to score a half-century in international cricket.
Shafali broke the record held by India’s legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. Shafali is 15 years and 285 days old whereas Tendulkar achieved it when he was 16 years and 214 days old.
The 15-year-old also became the second-youngest player to score a half-century in T20I format (men and women).
The youngster shared a 143-run stand with Smriti Mandhana, which is also India Women’s highest opening partnership in T20I cricket, surpassing the previous record of 130 runs set by Punam Raut and Thirush Kamini against Bangladesh in April 2013. It is also the eighth-highest opening partnership in T20I cricket.
Asked to bat first, India posted 185 for four wickets in the first innings. Her opening partner and the senior player in the squad, Mandhana also scored a half-century. Mandhana’s 46-ball 67 was studded with 11 boundaries. Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy too contributed with valuable cameos.
West Indies never looked like chasing the target as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. In response, the hosts could only manage 101/9 in 20 overs, eventually losing the contest by 84 runs. Shemaine Campbelle top-scored for the Windies with a 34-ball 33. For the visitors, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav, and Poonam Yadav took two wickets each.
The two teams go up against each other on November 10 at the same venue.