Teenage batting sensation Shafali Verma blasted 124 runs off just 78 balls in the first One-Day match against Australia A at the Allan Border Field, Brisbane on Wednesday, helping India A women beat Australia A women by 16 runs.
Verma had shot to fame when she became the youngest Indian ever to hit an international half-century. At 15 years and 285 days, Verma scored 73 against West Indies, last month.
In today’s match, Verma lost her opening partner Priya Punia for just eight runs to Belinda Vakarewa, followed by the wicket of Dayalan Hemalatha for a two-ball duck to the same bowler.
Experienced hand Veda Krishnamurthy joined Verma in the middle and the duo went on to add 119 runs for the third wicket. During her knock, Verma hit 19 fours and four sixes, before falling to Molly Strano in the 22nd over. Verma’s dominance with the bat can be gauged from the fact that when she got out the team score was 167, out which 124 were scored by the 16-year-old.
Krishnamurthy then took over and battled hard till the 48th over to score 113 off 99 balls. Only Sushma Verma (16) and Manali Dakshini (14) managed decent scores as Australia A women bowlers managed to pull things back after Verma’s early onslaught, and restricted the visitors to 312/9 in 50 overs.
Australia A women went about the chase in a steady manner with substantial contributions from opener Tahlia McGrath (97), Annabel Sutherland (52) and Heather Graham (27). But, regular wickets dented their progress. Devika Vaidya’s final spell produced four wickets and despite Strano’s 28-ball unbeaten 32, Australia A women were restricted to 296/9. Hemalatha claimed two wickets while Dakshini and TP Kanwer got one each.
Brief Scores: India A women 312/9 (Shafali Verma 124, Veda Krishnamurthy 113; Tahlia McGrath 3/48) beat Australia A women 296/9 (Tahlia McGrath 97, Annabel Sutherland 52; Devika Vaidya 4/55) by 16 runs.