Shafali Verma was in fine batting form, scripting history during India’s women’s cricket opener at the ongoing Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, on Thursday. Although, the match was called off in the second innings due to rain, the young opener had enough time to create history. The 19-year-old became the first Indian to register a half-century in the Asian Games, smacking 67 runs off 39 deliveries, packed with four fours and five sixes.
Shafali also reached the milestone in style, smacking a six in the second delivery of the 11th over. Receiving a full delivery from Winifred Duraisingam in the slot, she slammed it down the ground to clear the ropes for a six and also got her half-century.
Here is the video of the historic moment:
The match was delayed due to rain, as poor weather decided to play spoilsport in Hangzhou. Initially, Malaysia won the toss and opted to bowl. India had a bright start, but stand-in captain Smriti Mandhana departed for 27 runs off 16 deliveries, with India reaching 57/1 in 5.2 overs. Then rain interrupted play as India reached 60/1 in 5.4 overs. But soon, the first innings resumed and Shafali built a steady partnership with Jemimah Rodrigues. Rain delay also saw the overs reduce to 15 for each side.
Shafali departed in the 13th over, leaving the responsibility to wrap up the innings to Jemimah and Richa Ghosh. Richa dominated in the 15th over, as India posted 173/2 in 15 overs, setting a target of 174 runs.
Richa and Jemimah remained unbeaten, putting India in a strong position. Richa hammered 21* runs off seven balls, including three fours and a six. Meanwhile, Jemimah clattered 47* off 29 deliveries, drilling six fours in the process. For Malaysia’s bowling department, Mas Elysa and Mahirah Izzati Ismail took a wicket each.
Chasing a target of 174 runs, Ainna Hamizah Hashim and Duraisingam opened for Malaysia, but rain halted play after two deliveries. As the rain didn’t stop, the match was called off with Malaysia only managing to reach 1/0 in 0.2 overs. Due to India’s higher ranking, they reached the semi-finals. Meanwhile, regular captain Harmanpreet Kaur will miss the semis too, after receiving a two-match suspension from ICC for her outburst during an ODI vs Bangladesh in July.