The Indian cricket team has been hogging the limelight amid their ongoing tour of England. After a 2-1 win in T20Is and a 1-2 loss in the ODI series, Virat Kohli and his men now gear up for the much-anticipated five-match Test duel, slated to begin from 1st August in Edgbaston.
But, while there has been a lot of focus on the form of the visiting team, an Indian cricketer recently stole the limelight on the back of a memorable performance.
Indian women cricketer Smriti Mandhana elated her fans and would have surely made her male counterparts proud, after smashing a joint-fastest fifty in the history of women’s T20 cricket.
Playing for Western Storm in a rain-curtailed six-over-a-side match in the ongoing KIA Super League, the Indian opener went hammer and tongs at the Loughborough Lightning bowling attack, to notch up her fifty in mere 18 deliveries. In the process, the 22-year-old equaled the record of New Zealand’s Sophie Devine who achieved the feat against India in 2015.
Mandhana, who became the first Indian to play in England’s premier women’s domestic T20 tournament, slammed five fours and four sixes to remain unbeaten at 52 off just 19 balls, as her side Storm amassed a total of 85 runs at the loss of two wickets. Coincidentally, Devine was also playing in the match – for Loughborough – and scored an unbeaten 46. But, she couldn’t avert a defeat for her side who fell short by 18 runs.
It wasn’t really surprising to see her artistry with the willow taking the social media by storm, but it was Sri Lankan veteran Kumar Sangakkara who made Mandhana’s day.
After impressing everyone on the field, Mandhana gracefully endured the ‘fan moment’ when she got an opportunity to meet Sangakkara. The Indian southpaw clicked a picture with her role model and then shared it on Instagram with the caption: “This just made my day. A big fangirl moment for me. Can’t express how glad and overwhelmed I am. This memory is going to stay with me forever”.
Sangakkara, who was present at the ground where Mandhana recorded her feat, also took to Twitter and praised the Indian cricketer. “Watching @mandhana_smriti putting bowlers to the sword here at Taunton. She is brilliant to watch. Great ambassador and great skill,” his tweet read.