New Delhi: In a match that was shortened to just six overs owing to rain, Indian women cricketer Smriti Mandhana managed to record an 18-ball fifty in the Kia Super League encounter between Western Storm and Loughborough Lightning at Taunton on Sunday. Donning the green of Western Storm, Mandhana scripted twin records in the match.
Put to bat first, Mandhana stepped out alongside Racheal Priest and the duo stitched a stunning 71-run opening partnership off 30 deliveries before the Kiwi cricketer departed. Mandhana continued his rampage to notch up an unbeaten fifty off 18 balls that included five boundaries and four sixes.
Skipper Heather Knight failed to provide any support for she was dismissed for a duck, while wicketkeeper-batswoman Sarah Taylor assisted Mandhana with seven runs off the two deliveries she faced. Western Storm recorded 85 runs at the loss of two wickets at a run rate of 14.16.
En route to her 18-ball fifty, Mandhana recorded the quickest half-century in Kia Super League, overhauling her teammate Priest who had scored a 22-ball 50 last season. Mandhana’s strike is also the joint-fastest in women’s T20s, as the left-hander equalled the record set by Sophie Devine of New Zealand in 2005 against India in Bangalore.
The 22-year-old has been in a terrific form with the willow and she even led the Trailblazers in one-off women’s IPL exhibition show. Earlier this year, she smashed a 25-ball half-century donning the Indian blue against England, which is the fastest for in the national side.