Sabbhineni Meghana scores quickfire 33-ball Maiden ODI Fifty

On Friday, India’s opening batter Sabbhineni Meghana muscled a swashbuckling half-century to register her maiden 50 in ODI cricket. The right-handed batter peppered the boundary rope 11 times, hitting nine boundaries and a couple of sixes. In the process, she also created a record to score the joint second-fastest ODI fifty for India in women’s ODIs. Meghana took just 33 balls to get to her 50 runs and she got it in style as she pulled one over mid-wicket to find the fence.

 

Sabbhineni Meghana scores quickfire Maiden ODI Fifty. PC: ICC
Sabbhineni Meghana scores quickfire Maiden ODI Fifty. PC: ICC

 

Meghana made her international comeback after five long years and so far, it has been a dream comeback for the 25-year old. In the absence of India’s regular opener Smriti Mandhana, who was unavailable for the first three matches of the New Zealand tour, Meghana grabbed the opportunity that was presented to her with both hands. She featured in the one-off T20I, batting in the middle order and top-scored for India with 37 runs off 30 balls, including half a dozen boundaries.

Picking up from where she had left in the T20I, Meghana scored 114 runs in the first three ODIs of the five-match series against New Zealand. In the second ODI, she came very close to scoring her maiden ODI half-century, however, fell short of just one run, as she was sent packing on 49. Coming into the third ODI, she was determined to make it count and made the most of it. She started the proceedings for India with a boundary and since then there was no looking back. She dominated the White Ferns’ bowling attack as she hammered them across all parts of the ground. Meghana ended up scoring a delectable 61 off just 41 balls, stitching a 100-run partnership with Shafali Verma off just 13 overs, giving India the perfect start, batting first.

Meghana’s performance may have got the Indian think tank and the team management thinking with respect to the opening batter’s place in the side. However, it is more like a problem of plenty, since India has a decent back-up opener at disposal. At present, the 25-year old is a part of the three reserves for the World Cup. Before the mega event, India still have another two ODIs to play against New Zealand.

Also Read:  As Sri Lanka Cricket gives out central contracts to its women's team, we discuss contractual teams in Women's Cricket

With Smriti Mandhana available for the remainder of the series, will India persist with Meghana or will she make way for Mandhana or will Shafali Verma sacrifice her place to Mandhana? It will be interesting to see what India plans to do ahead in this ongoing series, of course with one eye on the World Cup.

I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

Liked the story? Leave a comment here