Shafali Verma smashes double; makes merry with Smriti Mandhana vs SA

Analysis - Reports: Shafali Verma smashes a double century and Smriti Mandhana scored 149 as India registered the maximum runs scored in a day in Tests.

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Tanveer Singh Kapoor
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Shafali Verma

Shafali Verma celebrates double century © Getty Images

India rewrote the record books by scoring 525 runs - the maximum runs scored in a single day of a Test - on the opening day of the Women’s Test at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday (June 28). On record breaking day, Shafali Verma smashed the fastest double century in the format and added 292 runs for the opening wicket with Smriti Mandhana. The latter was at her imperious best during her knock of 149.

Earlier, Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and elected to bat first on a red soil pitch. Shafali and in-form Mandhana were off to a flying start for the home side, scoring 130 runs in the morning session at the rate of over four runs. The post-lunch session turned out to be even better for India. The openers built a solid partnership and eventually reached the three-figure mark.

Mandhana scored her third century in the last four games against South Africa. But she fell a run short of 150 runs, hitting an outside edge at the hands of Annerie Dercksen. The 292-run partnership between Mandhana and Shafali became the highest opening stand in the history of Women’s Tests.

The left-hander’s dismissal was followed by Shafali accelerating as she dispatched the Proteas bowling attack with brute force. Shubha Satheesh departed early on 15 runs, thanks to Nadine de Klerk. Shafali’s aggressive style of play rewarded her with a double-century in 194 balls as she broke the record of the fastest double-ton in Women’s Tests which was previously set by Annabel Sutherland earlier this year.

Jemimah Rodrigues was building a productive partnership with Shafali, but a mix-up between the wickets ended Verma’s innings on 205 runs as she received a standing ovation from the Indian dugout. Rodrigues hit her third half-century, but mistimed her shot while coming down the track and gave de Klerk an easy catch at extra cover, heading back to the pavilion on 55 runs.

Captain Kaur, along with wicket-keeper Richa Ghosh, helped India see out the remainder of the day, with the latter taking a more aggressive approach with the bat. The hosts ended the first day of the Test by scoring a mammoth total of 525 runs at the loss of four wickets in 98 overs. Despite the run rate going down after Mandhana and Shafali’s dismissal, Ghosh’s direct approach helped up the run rate to 5.35. As for South Africa, Delmi Tucker was the most successful bowler, claiming two wickets.

Brief scores: India 1st innings 525/4 in 98 overs (Shafali Verma 205, Smriti Mandhana 149; Delmi Tucker 2/141) vs South Africa

 

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