While Indian cricket fans wait with bated breath for the WTC final to begin, Shafali Verma’s historic 96-run-knock put India on top before a dramatic collapse ensued leading the women’s team to lose the plot. The 17-year-old’s inning came against England in a one-off Test at the Bristol County Ground.
The new teenage cricket sensation Shafali Verma lit up the 2nd day of the one-off Ind VS England Women’s Test at Bristol. The debutant played shots left and right and with opener Smriti Mandhana stitched a partnership that visibly frustrated the English players. However, India lost the plot as Mandhana and Verma both lost their wickets within the span of 30 runs.
Mandhana-Verma partnership begins slow & steady
Earlier on second day, Indian openers Smriti Mandhana and Shefali Verma started the inning, chasing the 1st inning total of 396/6 put on board by the English women players. The duo showed no rush initially and remained unfazed even when maidens were bowled, one after the other.
Shefali Verma Lights up Bristol
After getting herself a footing, Mandhana opened her arms and started showed some immense character. The veteran opener took her team to a no-loss total by the tea break. Meanwhile, the 17-year-old Shefali also gained her composure, and launched an assault on England bowlers. Her stroke playing reminded the viewers of Virendra Sehwag’s. Soon, Verma became India’s youngest opener to score a half-century her debut.
Verma’s historic inning 4-runs short of century
It looked like a dream come true for Verma who was just 4-runs short of her first hundred, that too in a Test. The young debutant jumped from her 70s to her nervous 90s in no time. However, she miscued a Kate Cross delivery and was sent packing.
Her inning was lauded by cricket pundits and cricketers alike on Twitter.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 17, 2021
— Adam Collins (@collinsadam) June 17, 2021
India loses the plot, Dramatic Collapse Ensues
Her dismissal initiated a domino of wickets falling on India’s side. Soon, Nat Sciver scalped the wicket of Mandhana who was looking strong for 78. Shikha Pandey too was sent on a duck as she deposited the ball to Heather Knight. Before the team could readjust its course of action, England struck back hard, this time taking the wicket of captain Mithali Raj at 2.
All eyes on Harman Preet Kaur & Deepti Sharma
At the end of the second day, India was left reeling at 187/5 despite the jubliant efforts from Smriti Mandhana & Shafali Verma. On the third day, all eyes would be set on Harman Preet Kaur, who’s playing at 4 of 10 and Deepti Sharma, who hasn’t opened her account and has dodged 4 deliveries.
Earlier on Day 2
Earlier on the second day, star pacer Jhulan Goswami took the wicket of Katherine Brunt and pushed England to 270/7. However, any hopes of restricting England below 300 were squashed by Sophia Dunkley. Along with Ecclestone, Dunkley stitched a crucial partnership of 56-runs off 105 deliveries. Their partnership was finally broken by Deepti Sharma, who scalped the wicket of Ecclestone.
Dunkley Resist the Indian Bowling Attack
However, Dunkley on the other side showed no signs of being fazed and stitched another 70-run partnership with Anya Shrubsole. Anya played a quickfire inning of 47 off 33 ball which consisted of 6 boundaries and a maximum.
Finally, Anya was sent to the dressing room by Rana and England declared its inning at a challenging 396/9.