Deepti Sharma of the Indian women’s cricket team slammed a belligerent 188 against Ireland women in the eighth match of the Women’s Quadrangular series at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom to record the highest score by an Indian women’s cricketer.
The 19- year old’s 160 ball knock is now just second to Australian Belinda Clark’s magnificent unbeaten 229 that came against Denmark in 1997.
Opening the innings with Poonam Raut, who too played a good innings of 109 from 116 balls, Deepti’s solid knock was studded with 27 fours and two sixes. The duo also went on to put on a world record 320 run opening stand.
The highest score by an Indian women’s cricketer before this was 138 not out by Jaya Sharma against Pakistan in 2005.
Their efforts were helped by a 14 ball 27 by Shikha Pandey, as the Indian team went on to score a huge 358/3- their highest total in ODI cricket so far, surpassing their previous best of 298/2 they had scored against the West Indies back in 2004.
Also, Deepti became the first youngster (19 years and 264 days) to have scored a 175-plus runs in an ODI innings, in both men’s and women’s cricket.
It was earlier in this very tournament, that seasoned Indian women pacer Jhulan Goswami became the all-time highest wicket taker in Women’s ODI cricket with 181 wickets from 151 games.
Complementing Deepti’s brilliant efforts with the bat and the world record opening stand, left arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Shikha Pandey scalped a total of seven wickets between them to bundle out the Irish women for just 109 runs- thereby scripting a memorable 249 run win- the sixth largest victory by runs in Women’s ODI cricket.
India so far, have won all four of their matches and are looking good to win the series. If performances like these are repeated, then it’s only a matter of time that people will speak of these female cricketing stars in the same bracket as that of the star male cricketers.
Kolkata Bureau (With inputs from NDTV and The Times Of India)