New Delhi: Smriti Mandhana hit a half-century off just 18 balls in a Women’s Super League (WSL) match, equalling the women’s Twenty20 record set by Sophie Devine.
Mandhana has been in excellent form for Western Storm in the ongoing WSL, scoring 48 and 37 in the first two matches for her side, but went one better on Sunday, 29 July, by going berserk against the Loughborough Lighting bowlers in a rain-shortened match.
Mandhana’s effort earned her team an 18-run victory against Loughborough Lightning, she was also declared the Player of the Match. The league is England’s premier Twenty20 tournament for women, and Mandhana is the first Indian to feature in it. She smashed five boundaries and four sixes during her stellar knock in the six-over-per-side match on Sunday. She now co-owns the record for the fastest fifty in women’s T20s with New Zealand’s Sophie Devine.
The left-hander is known for her ‘see the ball, hit the ball’ style of play. She made a name for herself after an impressive ICC Women’s World Cup in 2017.
“I was fortunate to have the best seat in the house to watch Smriti’s innings,” said Priest after the game. “It’s great to have her in the team this season, and she’s made a brilliant start.
“I had a pretty good season at the top of the order last year, but having someone in her class come in has taken some of the pressure off me.”
Earlier in March this year, Mandhana smashed a half-century in 25 balls for India against England to better her own 30-ball 50 records she had set a few days before against Australia.
The 22-year-old has been in fine form in 2018 and recently captained the Trailblazers in the one-off IPL exhibition game. She has scored 826 runs with a high score of 76 in 40 T20Is and 1464 runs in 41 ODIs at an average of 37.53 with a high score of 135.