Shafali Verma
Shafali Verma
Photo: Twitter/ BCCI Women

Shafali Verma is slowly proving to be the best player in the Women's T20 World Cup. She has been absolutely brilliant for the team and is the topscorer for India. Her performances against Australia and Bangladesh with the bat have been phenomenal. Against New Zealand, too, she was breathtaking, having scored a splendid 46 runs off 34 deliveries with 4 boundaries and 3 maximums.

The fact that she's just 16 years old says a lot about the talent she posseses.

Fans on Twitter, who previously praised her in the first two matches, also continued to do so in the third match.

In the first match, she departed after scoring 15 ball 29, which consisted of 5 fours and one six. But against Bangladesh she was an absolute force of destruction.

Shafali scored 39 runs off 17 balls before falling to Bangladesh's Panna Ghosh. Her extravagant innings consisted of 4 sixes and 2 fours. Shafali has been taking full advantage of the freedom she has been given to free her hands.

The youngster is now the leading runscorer of the tournament as well alongside England captain Heather Knight (114 runs).

India's star opener, Smrit Mandhana, has also reserved high praise for Shafali. She said, "Shafali has been a huge positive coming into the T20 side. The way she's going about her batting, it's so easy to bat alongside her."

"I used to score a lot of our runs in the last two of three years, especially in the powerplay, but now with Shafali coming in, she's getting the runs in the way I do. It makes the team more balanced," she added.

The teenager, who is making her T20 World Cup debut in Australia, picked up the Player of the Match award for her 39 runs against Bangladesh, also looks set to pick the same award against New Zealand.

Put in to bat, India posted a below-par 133 for eight against New Zealand in a crucial group A match of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup here on Thursday.

Opener Shafali top-scored with a 34-ball 46, while Taniya Bhatia chipped in with a 25-ball 23 but India frittered away a solid start to manage a low score.

Radha Yadav scored a 9-ball 14 to give some respectability to the total.

For New Zealand, Rosemary Mair (2/27) and Amelia Kerr (2/21) took two wickets each.

Brief Score:

India women: 133 for 8 in 20 overs (Shafali Verma 46; Amelia Kerr 2/21).

(With Agency Inputs)

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal