Young Indian cricketer Shafali Verma has scripted history in the ongoing one-off Test between England Women and India Women at County Ground in Bristol on Friday. Shafali has become the first Indian and fourth player to score a half-century in both innings on Test debut in the history of women’s cricket. The 17-year-old player is the youngest batsman to have scored more than 50 runs in both innings in the debut Test match. Shafali broke Australia’s Jess Jonassen record of scoring two half-centuries on debut when she was 22 years old in 2015.
Shafali has dazzled the cricket world while playing her first senior competitive match with the red ball on the third day of the match. She was batting on 55 not out off 68 balls at stumps on the third day of the match after India were forced to follow on. She hit 11 boundaries in her knock of 151 runs in this test match so far.
Shafali is the fourth batsman from India to score more than 150 runs in the debut Test. The record for scoring the most runs in the debut Test is in the name of Shikhar Dhawan from India. Dhawan had scored 187 runs against Australia in the year 2013. The second player who scored over 150 runs in the debut Test is Rohit Sharma, who scored 177 runs against West Indies in the year 2013 itself. Then there is the legendary Lala Amarnath who scored 156 against England in 1933.
Shafali can make the record of scoring the most runs for India in the debut Test and for this she needs 37 runs more.
Prior to Shafali’s achievement of 50 runs in both innings, three players had achieved the feat in Women’s Test cricket. England’s Leslie Cook (72 and 117, vs India in 1986), Sri Lanka’s Vanessa Bowen (78 and 63, vs Pakistan in 1998) and Australia’s Jeff Johnson (99 and 54 , vs England in 2021).
Shafali missed out on becoming the first Indian to score a century in her debut match by just four runs in the first innings. Apart from this, she also had the opportunity to become the youngest player to score a Test century in women’s cricket history. She can have both these achievements by reaching triple digits in this inning.