Shafali Verma becomes India’s youngest T20I debutant

Shafali Verma on Tuesday became the youngest T20I debutant for India when she was named in the playing XI for the first T20 against South Africa at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium here.

Shafali, 15, opened the batting for India but was out for a duck. She is the second-youngest player to represent India after Gargi Banerjee.

Shafali earned her India debut on the back of a superb domestic season where she amassed 1,923 runs, including six hundreds and three half-centuries.

India, led by Harmanpreet Kaur, will play five T20s against the Proteas.

In the match, Spinner Deepti Sharma bowled three maiden overs in her four-over quota, apart from taking three wickets, as the Indian women team survived a Mignon du Preez blitz to eke out a 11-run win over South African women in the first T20 International here on Tuesday.

Asked to bat, the Indian middle-order struggled to convert starts on a slow pitch, settling for a modest 130 for eight.

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur top-scored for the side with a 34-ball 43, the innings containing three fours and two sixes as her other colleagues found the going tough.

The Indian spinners exploited the favourable conditions to make it tough for the visitors, who were bowled out for 119 with one ball left.

Apart from Deepti (3/8), left-arm spinner Radha Yadav, leg-break bowler Poonam Yadav and pacer Shikha Pandey took two wickets apiece.

Du Preez took the fight to the Indian camp with her gritty 59-run knock but could not take her side past the finish line.