Ladies first – Ten ODI records women own

(From L-R): Maia Lewis, Mithali Raj, Amelia Kerr, Suzie Bates, Belinda Clark. © Women's CricZone

For the longest time cricket was an all-male bastion. The women, at best, were afterthoughts, struggling for a second in the spotlight, or even a bit of support. However, after decades of waiting in the wings, they have finally begun to command similar attention as their male counterparts – winning over fans, critics and cricket geeks alike.

While the men’s game has always dominated the news space, grabbing headlines for every move the players make, over the years, the women have found a way to make their mark too. From the ruthlessness of New Zealand, the precocious talent of Amelia Kerr, to the guile of Khursheed Jabeen and the finesse of Mithali Raj, Women’s CricZone looks at 10 ODI records the women can lay claim to.

1. First to score 400 runs in an innings

When the New Zealand women faced Pakistan in January 1997, a score of 300 in men’s cricket was a rare occurrence. So, obviously, 400 was unheard of. However, the women had other ideas as New Zealand smashed a hapless Pakistan attack to all corners of the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Skipper Maia Lewis led the way scoring her maiden century off just 70 deliveries, headlining New Zealand’s total of 455 for 5.

The men, on the other hand, had to wait nine years before they crossed the 400-run mark, when both Australia and South Africa topped the mark in their historic match at the Wanderers.

2. Highest victory margin (by runs)

In the same match, after posting a massive first innings total of 455 for 5, New Zealand went on to bundle out Pakistan for just 47, thereby closing out a massive 408-run victory. The hosts’ spin duo of Clare Nicholson (4-18) and Justine Fryer (3-8) were the wreckers-in-chief, making sure Pakistan lasted no more than 23 overs.

In 2008, when the New Zealand men scored 402 and bundled out Ireland for 112 in just over 28 overs, they set a new record for the men’s game, winning by 290 runs.

3. Highest innings total

If New Zealand’s 455 for 5 in 1997 was scarcely believable, 11 years later, in on 8 June 2018, they put on another astonishing batting display, amassing 491 for 4 against Ireland in Dublin. Riding on centuries from Suzie Bates (151) and Maddy Green (122), New Zealand took Ireland to the cleaners on their way to a record score.

Barely 11 days later, the England men’s team gave Australia a bit of a walloping as they cantered to a total of 481 for 6 at Trent Bridge, before dismissing the visitors for 239.

4. First individual 200

1997, it seems, was a year of records for the women. In December, Belinda Clark, then Australian captain, registered the first ever double hundred in ODI cricket during a World Cup match against Denmark in Mumbai. The right-hander creamed 22 boundaries in her unconquered knock of 229 off just 155 deliveries.

It wasn’t until 13 years later, in 2010, that Sachin Tendulkar finally broke the 200-run barrier for the men, against South Africa in Gwalior. He brought it up with likely the most celebrated single in the history of Indian cricket – a dainty dab to point.

Since then, however, only one other woman has registered a double hundred in ODIs, while five other men have.

5. Highest maiden hundred

Until June 2018, Amelia Kerr’s highest ODI score was a run-a-ball 30 against Pakistan in Sharjah. However, when promoted up the order to open the innings in the third and final ODI against Ireland, Kerr not only scored her maiden century, but rewrote several records, including that of highest maiden hundred. Only 17 years old, Kerr tonked 31 fours and two sixes on her way to a mammoth 232.

A little over nine years earlier, Zimbabwe’s Charles Coventry, hammered 194 not out off 156 balls against Bangladesh in Bulawayo. Unlike Kerr, however, Coventry’s knock came in a losing cause as Bangladesh hunted down the 313-run target in 47.5 overs.

6. Youngest player to score a hundred

When Shahid Afridi smashed the Sri Lankan attack around the Gymkhana Club Ground in Nairobi in October 1996, he became the youngest player to score an ODI hundred at 16 years and 217 days. His 40-ball 102 was also, at the time, the fastest century in ODIs.

It took Mithali Raj a little less than two years to break that record when she scored her first ODI century against Ireland (114 not out) in June 1999 at all of 16 years and 205 days – just about managing to pip ‘Boom Boom’.

7. Youngest player to score a double hundred

While Amelia Kerr may not be the youngest player to score a century, at 17 years and 243 days (as of June 18, 2018) she became the youngest player to score a double hundred across formats, beating Javed Miandad’s record of 19 years and 140 days.

8. Most economical 10-over spell

When West Indies allrounder Phil Simmons took the ball against Pakistan in Sydney in December 1992, few would have expected him to return with figures of 10-8-3-4 – the most economical spell in men’s ODIs. His efforts kept Pakistan to just 81, handing West Indies a 133-run win.

How do you beat that spell, you would think? Khursheed Jabeen, the left-arm spinner from Pakistan, managed to better Simmons in an ODI against Japan in 2003. Jabeen finished her spell of 10 overs with figures of 3 for 2, as Japan were bundled out for 28.

9. Youngest player to take a five-for

While Jabeen kept things tight at one end, off-spinner Sajjida Shah ripped through Japan’s line-up to finish with career-best figures of 7 for 4 in just eight overs. At only 15 years and 168 days she became the youngest player to take a five-for in ODIs.

In 2018, Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Ur Rehman, another off-spinner, took five wickets against Zimbabwe in Sharjah to become the youngest male to take a five-for in ODIs. He was only 16 years and 325 days at the time.

10. Youngest player

On 30 October 1996, Hasan Raza, aged 14 years and 233 days became the youngest player to feature in an ODI. Coming in to bat at No.8, he scored a crucial 14-ball 11 to help Pakistan squeeze over the line in their chase of 238 – with five balls to spare – against Zimbabwe in Quetta.

Four years later, in July 2000, a 12-year and 171-day old Sajjida Shah made her ODI debut for Pakistan against Ireland in Dublin. She scored a patient four off 42 deliveries as Pakistan collapsed to a nine-wicket loss against the hosts.