Shafali Verma’s blistering 91 not out (52b, 11x4, 4x6) powered India-B to a nine-wicket win (with 5.5 overs to spare) over India-A in the Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy tournament at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Stadium here on Tuesday.
Remarkably, the swashbuckling opener had scored almost 80 per cent of her team’s total: the target was 111.
Shafali got a couple of lives all right — dropped by left-arm spinner Sahana Pawar off own bowling on 25 and then by captain Poonam Yadav at midwicket off off-spinner S. Sajana on 43 — but she had been struck the ball sweetly from the time she came in. She lofted and drove beautifully. Both her partners — opener Dhara Gujjar (eight) and skipper Deepti Sharma (13 not out) — were spectators as she added 37 and 77 for the first and unfinished second wickets, respectively.
Earlier, Deepti Sharma picked up four wickets with her off-spin during India-A’s miserable show with the bat. Only Amanjout Kaur (49, 49b, 8x4) and opener Shivali Shinde (22) managed to last more than a dozen balls.
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India-D trounced India-C by 47 runs in the day’s other match, in which opener Yastika Bhatia was extremely unlucky to miss out on what would have been a splendid hundred. She was stranded on 99 not out (61b, 16x4, 1x6). It was a well-controlled innings; she hit her only six — a magnificent straight hit off Rashi Kanojia — after facing 45 balls.