The score was small enough, but Shafali Verma made it look smaller.
Her blistering 91 not out off 52 balls (11×4, 4×6) powered India-B to a nine-wicket win, with 5.5 overs to spare, in the Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy tournament at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Stadium here on Tuesday. Remarkably, the swashbuckling opener scored almost 80 per cent of her team’s total; the target was 111.
Sure, Shafali got a couple of lives — dropped by left-arm spinner Sahana Pawar off her own bowling on 25 and then by captain Poonam Yadav at midwicket off off-spinner S. Sajana on 43 — but she had been stroking the ball sweetly from the time she came in. She lofted and drove beautifully.
Both — opener Dhara Gujjar (eight) and skipper Deepti Sharma (13 not out) — were virtually spectators in the 37-run first and 77-run unfinished second wicket partnerships.
Earlier, Deepti scalped four with her off-spin during India-A’s miserable show with the bat. Only Amanjout Kaur (49, 49b, 8×4) and opener Shivali Shinde (22) managed to last more than a dozen balls.
India-D trounced India-C by 47 runs in the day’s other match, in which opener Yastika Bhatia was extremely unlucky to miss out on what would have been a splendid hundred. She was stranded on 99 not out (61b, 16×4, 1×6). It was a well-controlled innings; she hit her only six — a magnificent straight hit off Rashi Kanojia — after facing 45 balls.
The scores: India-A 110 in 20 overs (Shilpa Shinde 22, Amanjout Kaur 49, Sonal Kalal 2/13, Deepti Sharma 4/15) lost to India-B 114/1 in 14.1 overs Shafali Verma 91 n.o.).
India-D 165/5 in 20 overs (Yastika Bhatia 99 n.o., Jemimah Rodrigues 26) bt India-C 118/7 in 20 overs (Priya Punia 23, Richa Ghosh 36, Tarunnum Pathan 26, Renuka Singh 3/27, Shraddha Pokharkar 2/12).