February 25, 2020 / 5:51 AM / in a month

Licenced to thrill: India want Shafali Verma to continue batting mayhem

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - India opener Shafali Verma has set alight the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup with her six-hitting prowess and her team want the 16-year-old to continue batting in the same carefree manner, team mate Shikha Pandey said.

Verma smashed four sixes in her 17-ball 39 against Bangladesh on Monday to set up India’s second successive victory in the tournament.

Her five sixes from two matches is also the highest by any player in the ongoing tournament and she has the backing of her team to continue the assault in the powerplay overs and beyond.

“We haven’t asked her to change anything. She’s been given free licence to play her fearless brand of cricket,” medium pacer Pandey said after the victory against Bangladesh in Perth.

“She’s amazing. At 16 I hadn’t even started training to become a cricketer,” said Pandey who has taken five wickets from two matches.

Nineteen-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues contributed a breezy 34 at number three, while 16-year-old Richa Ghosh made a run-a-ball 14 in her World Cup debut.

“I’m very pleased to have such young fearless players in our team. It’s amazing to see them doing what they did for us,” Pandey, 30, said of her teenaged team mates.

“There’s no baggage, that’s the biggest thing, and they express themselves so well in the team.”

Group A leaders India next play New Zealand, who beat Sri Lanka in their opener, in Melbourne on Thursday.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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