Verma creams 26 runs of a single over as India open campaign in style

Shafali Verma captains and opens the batting for India, and the 18-year-old brings a wealth of experience with her to the tournament in South Africa.
Shafali Verma
Shafali Verma ICC

BENONI [South Africa]: Team India started their ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup campaign on a winning note as they registered a seven-wicket victory over hosts South Africa.

Shafali Verma captains and opens the batting for India, and the 18-year-old brings a wealth of experience with her to the tournament in South Africa.

Verma and opening partner Shweta Sehrawat put on 70 runs in the powerplay as they looked to chase down South Africa's impressive total of 166. But it was the sixth and final over of that Powerplay where Verma took over.

South African right-arm medium pacer Nthabiseng Nini saw her first ball of the over creamed to the fence, for a four. It was followed by four more boundaries.

Not content with five consecutive boundaries, Verma launched the final ball into the stands, racking up 26 runs off the over. The assault took her personal score from 18 off 7 balls to 44 off 13. While Verma fell shortly afterwards for 45, the damage inflicted in that one brutal over set the tone for the chase, with India dominating the run rate and the run of play.

Shafali Verma (45 from 16 balls), in the company of fellow opener Shweta, charged off the blocks, with the skipper giving India a flying start striking nine boundaries and a six. The duo put on 77 in seven overs before Shafali fell to Miane Smit.

Verma's knock showed why the batter, who formerly topped the ICC Women's T20I Player rankings, is presently ranked sixth in the world. Shweta, too, got into her stride, driving and pulling imperiously.

South Africa tried several bowling options, but it was to no avail. India had an eye on a bonus point out of their World Cup, but couldn't as they lost two wickets as they closed in on a win.

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