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ENGW vs INDW: Shafali Verma shines with 96 before mini-collapse

Shafali Verma will be bitterly disappointed, though, that she couldn't reach the three-figure landmark, falling short of her maiden Test century while attempting a big hit.

Published: 17th June 2021 11:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th June 2021 11:46 PM   |  A+A-

Shafali Verma

Indian Women Cricket Team Player Shafali Verma (Photo | ICC Official Twitter)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Shafali Verma took another important step in her meteoric rise as an international cricketer with a knock of 96 in her debut Test innings. 

The 17-year-old from Rohtak — who rose to prominence with her swashbuckling knocks in the T20 World Cup last year — seemed to find her bearings on the Test stage immediately as she went about playing her strokes in the company of the equally assured Smriti Mandhana.

Verma will be bitterly disappointed, though, that she couldn't reach the three-figure landmark, falling short of her maiden Test century while attempting a big hit. The teenager's dismissal triggered a mini-collapse for India women as the visitors lost four more wickets for just 16 runs.

At stumps, on the second day against England women in Bristol, India were 187/5 and facing a first-innings deficit of 209 runs. Mandhana perished for 78 in a similar manner to Verma as an attempt to clear the infield did not come off. The spate of wickets towards the end – including skipper Mithali Raj for 2 – undid the good work that openers Verma and Mandhana did with a partnership of 167. The opening stand from the Indian duo was imperative after England declared on an imposing total of 396 for 9. No team has lost a women's Test after posting a total of 300 or more in the first innings.

Verma's stay at the crease possessed a heady mix of late cuts and aerial hits over the boundary while a few wild slogs to the leg side also made an appearance from time to time. Her attacking instincts were very much on display. Mandhana, meanwhile, exhibited her class with some characteristic elegant drives through the off-side.

The fact that England dropped Mandhana thrice did not help their cause. Once the left-hander got going, she too didn't shy away from going over the top like her young and diminutive batting partner.

Brief scores (Day 2): England women 396/9 decl. in 121.2 ovs (H Knight 95; S Rana 4/131) vs Indian women 187/5 in 60 overs (S Verma 96, S Mandhana 78).



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