The second T2OI between India Women and West Indies Women was played on Sunday at St Lucia. West Indies batted first and scored 103 runs in their quota of overs. In response, India reached the target without losing a wicket. Indian openers Shafali Verma (69) and Smriti Mandhana (30) stitched together an unbeaten 100 run partnership to win the match by 10 wickets. This was the 15 year old Shafali’s second half century in T20 Cricket.
Shafali broke Sachin’s record
The right handed batswoman had in her first match scored a brilliant 49 ball 73 runs which was her first International half century. With this innings, she shattered a long standing Sachin Tendulkar record. She became the youngest Indian to reach the maiden International half-century mark. Shafali was aged 15 years and 286 days when she brought up her first International half-century while Sachin had scored his first half century for India when he was 16 years and 214 days old.
Who is Shafali Verma?
One of the youngest to be selected in the Indian national team, Shafali was born in Rohtak and has been an opener ever since she has started playing professional cricket. Shafali started playing professional cricket five years back and has even played for Haryana for three seasons.
The Indian women cricket team’s long search for a big hitting opening player can end if Shafali continues to play the way she is playing at the moment. The youngster had first attracted eyeballs in the 2018-19 Inter State Women T20 Tournament where she scored a scarcely believable 56 ball 128 runs against Nagaland.
Interestingly, she trained to be a cricketer as a boy during her growing up years because no cricket academies in her home town of Rohtak admitted girls.
Shafali’s success is a massive statement to such societal restrictions and stereotypes that contemporary India continues to battle even when claiming itself to be a world force.
Became a cricketer to fulfill her father’s dream
When Shafali was selected for the Indian team for the first time she had gone on record stating how she was hopeful for her selection in the Indian team since she was doing well in the domestic circuit. She even described how her father loved cricket and wanted to be a cricketer himself but could not do so.
Shafali’s father then got her admitted to a cricket academy near her home and she has not looked back ever since.
Today, the 15 year old is already a star and idolizes Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur, two veterans of Indian women cricket. If Shafali goes on to have as long an international career as either of her role models, there is no doubt she will break many more records in years to come and make her country proud.