“The ball is coming in little slow in the U19,” says Shafali Verma

The first-ever edition of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Under-19 Twenty20 (T20) World Cup got underway on the 14th of January in South Africa and the Indian women’s team led by Shafali Verma has had a memorable run at the tournament thus far and have repeatedly stood up to the tag of favorites they are carrying.

 

Shafali Verma. PC: BCCI
Shafali Verma. PC: BCCI

 

Shafali Verma has made 51 appearances for the senior team in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) and has accumulated 1231 runs at an average of 24.62, a strike rate of 134.53 and with 5 fifties to her name has got the highest score of 73. She, in two successive games during the U-19 World Cup, has registered scores of 45(16) against South Africa in the opener and 34-ball 78* against the United Arab Emirates.

High on confidence, Shafali Verma, who’s played for India at the elite level and is now with the Under-19 batch, on the difference said, “There is lot of difference because the ball is coming in little slow in the U-19 and the wicket is also in the slower side and we are trying to get used to that. And of course, a little bit of difference, seamers have good pace, a good mind-set here also but they are all learning and I really enjoying playing with them,” in a Star Sports show.

She further said, “I think it’s (U-19 T20 World Cup) very important for women’s cricket as they way Mithali (Raj) said that for growing up and developing talented players, for them it’s very good.”

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India’s opener against South Africa saw the latter batting first have opener, Simone top score for the side with a 44-ball 61 that helped South Africa post 166/5 on board. Stepping up for India’s success was the captain-vice-captain pair of Shafali Verma and Shweta Sehrawat who single-handedly impacted in India chasing down 167 for the win in 16.3 overs. While Shafali Verma departed after providing an explosive, 17-ball 45 start, Shweta closed the game out with her blistering 57-ball 92*.

India in their 2nd game against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had Shweta Sehrawat anchor the innings, while skipper, Shafali Verma muscled a 34-ball 78. Richa Ghosh then quick-fired a 29-ball 49 and Shweta too joined in and yet again finished unbeaten on 74 off 49 as India notched up a comforting total of 219/3. UAE in reply lost skipper, Theertha Satish early on 16(5), and resistance from Lavanya Keny (54-ball 24) and Mahika Gaur (26-ball 26) helped UAE see off a collapse but closed out on 97-5 as India scripted a commanding 122-run win.

Reacting to India’s successive wins, Shafali said, “Of course it’s very good feeling. It is my first and last because it’s my last year of U-19. “We have a good team, we are really enjoying with the girls and I hope we will play good cricket and of course we will be here for the world cup and we will try to achieve that. I would say we are doing well in batting, bowling and fielding and as captain, I hope we win the World Cup.”

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Speaking on the batters she follows, Shafali said, “I think now-a-days, I like Livingstone’s batting because he’s hitting very well. Of course growing up, playing cricket, I used to watch Sachin Tendulkar sir. So, Sachin sir is also my role model. I love to watch him, how he played the game and remained calm.”

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