In the ongoing one-off Test between England Women and India Women, young Indian star Shafali Verma scripted history when she smashed a half-century in the second innings at County Ground in Bristol on Friday.
Shafali, who scored 96 runs in the first innings, became the youngest woman and the fourth overall to score twin half-centuries in her debut Test match. She surpassed Australia’s Jess Jonassen, who achieved this record when she was 22 years old in 2015.
The two other women cricketers apart from Shafali and Jonassen are Sri Lanka’s Vanessa Bowen and England’s Lesley Cooke, who slammed two half-centuries in their debut Test.
Earlier, Shafali announced her grand arrival in the longest format after smashing 96 off 152 balls in the first innings. She scored 13 fours and two sixes. The right-handed batter was well supported by Smriti Mandhana, who contributed 78 from 155 deliveries.
However, after the dismissal of both the batters, India saw the worst collapse and got bundled out for 231, giving the hosts a healthy lead of 165 runs, who declared their first innings on 396/9.
Sophie Ecclestone was the pick of the bowlers for the English side as she bagged a four-wicket haul for 88 in the first innings. Apart from Ecclestone, England skipper Heather Knight also chipped in with a couple of scalps.
When it comes to the second innings, India have scored 83/1 in 24.3 overs before the stumps was announced. The visitors are still trailing England by 82 runs. Shafali was unbeaten on 55 runs with 11 boundaries.
After missing out on the maiden hundred, Shafali had expressed her disappointment but mentioned that 96-run knock gave her a lot of confidence.
“It’s always natural to feel bad to miss out on a hundred (on debut). I will always regret it, but this innings will give me a lot of confidence in the coming matches. I hope to convert it to a hundred the next time,” Shafali had said in the virtual post-match conference.
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