Shafali Verma, 15, on Sunday broke Sachin Tendulkar’s 30-year-old record and became the youngest Indian to score a half-century in international cricket. Shafali played a blistering knock of 49-ball 73 in the first T20 against West Indies, to write her name in the record books of Indian cricket surpassing Tendulkar’s 30-year-old record.
She achieved the feat at 15 years and 285 days, surpassing batting legend Tendulkar, who had notched up his maiden Test fifty at 16 years and 214 days. Breaking records is one thing, but breaking your idol’s records is a different achievement altogether.
Shafali is also the second youngest batswomen to score an international fifty in T20 cricket. The youngest batter is UAE’s Kavisha Egodage, who was 15 years and 267 days when she achieved the milestone.
Hailing from Rohtak in Haryana, playing for India was Shafali’s dream since she was 9 years old.
Growing up watching Tendulkar play cricket, Shafali had to struggle a lot to gain acceptance from society that doesn’t consider cricket as women’s sport.
In an interview , she once recalled:
“They would ask: what could a girl do? I had long braids at that time; I chopped them off, and for a couple of months they probably did not realise that I was a girl as I trained with boys.”
But she made her mark, in just her second outing, by smashing 46 off just 33 balls against South Africa, last month.
Her blazing knock powered the Indian women’s team to a convincing 84-run win against the Windies. Shafali, who was playing her fifth T20 International, smashed the Windies bowlers for six fours and four sixes in her blazing knock of 73.
It was all carnage from the Indian openers Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana as they went hammering tongs to post an opening stand of 143 – India’s highest partnership in women’s T20Is. The duo took India past 100-mark in the 10th over of the game.
It helped India post post a challenging 185 for four after being asked to take first strike by the hosts. In response to India’s total, West Indies were restricted to 101 for nine.
It was the 15 year-old Haryana native who stole the show and broke the age old record set by Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar. This was only the fifth T20I of her career and she smashed her way to break her idol’s record.
Way to go girl!