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IND vs SA: A Day of Milestones – Shafali Verma And Smriti Mandhana’s Record-Breaking Partnership

In an exhilarating display of skill and determination, Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana etched their names into cricketing history during the Only Test in Chennai against South Africa. Shafali, scoring her first international century, went on to achieve a double century, while Smriti contributed a sublime 149 runs. Their partnership propelled India Women to a formidable total of 525/4 at the close of play on Day 1.

Reflecting on her remarkable achievement, Shafali Verma shared her excitement, “By the grace of God, not just 100 but I got to a 200 as well. I am feeling great that with my century even the double century came up. This innings has given me a world of confidence and I’m definitely feeling great and happy.”

The celebration that followed her milestone was spontaneous. “It was definitely not planned,” Shafali admitted. “We’ve always had the chat that whenever I would get to it, I would celebrate. So today when it happened, I felt like celebrating as much as I can.”

Smriti Mandhana, reflecting on her own knock of 149, emphasized the importance of their partnership.

“Look, the runs I made are there, but the partnership we shared was special. We always talk about it in the dressing room as well, that we need to build on partnerships and make the big ones count. A hundred is always a milestone, but going past 250 is incredible, and I’m sure Amol [Muzumdar] Sir will be very happy.”

“To keep ourselves motivated after 200, we were pushing each other to 250 and more” – Shafali Verma

Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma struck a mammoth 292 run partnership on Day 1 [Image: Getty]
Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma struck a mammoth 292 run partnership on Day 1 [Image: Getty]
The duo’s focus was unwavering even after reaching individual milestones. Shafali Verma revealed their mindset: “After 200, we had planned for 250, so that was cool. We both had that mindset and were in the flow, wondering where to hit and how. To keep ourselves motivated after 200, we were pushing each other to 250 and more.”

Smriti added, “The best part is I didn’t even realize that we had reached the 200 partnership. When we were batting well and hitting, I told Shifu, ‘Let’s get to 200,’ without even realizing we had already surpassed that score. More importantly, the way you were batting in such a mature way, waiting for the right balls and smashing the ones in your zone. You were happy, and hopefully, this innings will kickstart better things for you.”

Acknowledging Smriti’s role in her success, Shafali Verma said, “I was feeling very good. But first up, thanks to you because having the right partner is crucial, who keeps giving you positive reinforcement. You always reiterate to wait for the right balls, so thanks to you. Also, 200 is a very big thing for me, and the fact that we as a team could rake up 500 is huge on this wicket. It is a big achievement, so it was a really great day for us, and we achieved a lot of milestones as well.”

Smriti, in turn, praised the support from the dressing room and the crowd. “Just looking at your innings, you looked in good touch, and even from the dressing room and the dugout, there was a lot of support pouring in. At times, while playing, I was wondering what the chatter was about, and they probably had a game amongst themselves.

But again, really, the crowd that had come in here at Chennai was amazing. We have three more days, so the crowds will come in and support us. Can’t predict how the rest of the game will go, but hopefully, we can get on to the field, get them out, and win the Test match. So please keep supporting us, boys and girls!”

As the match progresses, the stellar performances of Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana promise an exciting continuation, with fans eagerly anticipating more milestones and memorable moments.

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