The one-off Test between India and England women's teams in Bristol was a brilliant advertisement for Test cricket after India's lower-middle-order mounted a fightback as they steered the visitors to a draw from the cusp of defeat.
Enforced a follow-on, Indian top order started brightly, before the English bowlers started chipping away at regular intervals. But India found its heroes for the day lower down the order as they defied odds to deny England a victory.
Today let's take a look at the special stats and figures that were recorded in this Test match.
The most fifty-plus scores by debutants in a Test match including men or women. There have been six Men’s Tests which had four fifty-plus scores by the debutants and four Tests of the same scenario in women's cricket before this Test match took place.
Shafali Verma aggregated 159 runs across the two innings in Bristol, which is the third most runs by a player on their Test debut. Michelle Goszko of Australia scored 204 runs on her debut against England in 2001, while Lesley Cooke of England accumulated 189 runs, with scores of 72 and 117 on her debut against India in 1986.
The Indian youngster has surely announced her grand arrival to the sport. Do you think she set to break further records in her career?
There have been no players from India with a fifty-plus score and a four-plus wicket haul on Test debut between men or women before the 27-year old Sneh Rana did it against England in the one-off Test at Bristol. Sneh Rana is only the fourth player with this all-around double effort on women's Test debut. Washington Sundar and Amar Singh are the only other Indians to achieve this feat.
Sneh Rana's humongous effort of 80 in the second innings, is the third-highest while batting at No. 8 or a lower position on women's Test debut. Chamani Seneviratna of Sri Lanka scored an unbeaten 105, batting at No.8 against Pakistan in 1998 while Shelley Nitschke scored 81* at No. 10 against England in 2005.
Shafali Verma became the fourth player to have scored 50-plus runs in both the innings on women's Test debut. Three players have completed the feat before this, Cooke against India in 1986, Vanessa Bowen against Pakistan in 1998, and Jess Jonassen against England in 2015.
The ninth-wicket partnership of 104 between Taniya Bhatia and Rana in the second innings, is the second-highest ninth-wicket stand in women's Tests. Beverly Botha and Maureen Payne of South Africa added 107 runs after losing eight wickets for just 49 runs against New Zealand in 1972. The effort by the Indian players did make sure the match did not go in favor of the English side.
The number of players to have won the Player-of-the-match award on women's Test debut before Shafali Verma did it against England. A six-wicket haul for Isobel Joyce of Ireland, a double ton for Michelle Goszko of Australia, and the twin fifties for Jess Jonassen of Australia were the other efforts to be rewarded.
The Indian starlet also became the second-youngest woman to win the player of the match on her Test debut. The first being Isobel Joyce of Ireland, who managed to claim the award at 17 years and 5 days.
Sneh Rana's 80* is the second-highest score on the women's Test debut for India, behind Shafali Verma's 96 in the first innings. Both scores came in the same match against England in Bristol, as both played vital roles in securing a favorable outcome for India.
The 22-year old Sophia Dunkley became the first black woman to play for the England Test team.
'I'll remember this day for a long time' - Sophia Dunkley on her debut
The debutant was overwhelmed to make her debut for the country and she did all justice to her selection by scoring a fluent 74* off 127 balls before the side decided to declare their innings.
The Indian side started off their first innings in great style as the 17-year old debutant Shafali Verma and flamboyant opener Smriti Mandhana stitched together a total of 167 runs to set India to a strong reply. The starlet pair also now holds the record for the highest partnership for Indian Women in the longest format.
The record was previously held by Gargi Banerjee and Sandhya Agarwal, who put together 153 runs for the first wicket against Australia, back in 1984.
The hard-hitting Shafali Verma became the first woman cricketer to hit 3 sixes in a Test match after she managed to clear ropes on 2 occasions in the 1st innings and once in the 2nd innings. The Indian also now holds the record for the first player to hit a six on her Test debut. The only other Women to hit two sixes in a match are Alyssa Healy and Lauren Winfield-Hill from Australia and England respectively.
Making another huge step forward, India Women will be playing their first-ever day-night Test against the Aussies when they tour Australia in September. This Test will be played at the WACA Ground in Perth and will be in the tour comprising three ODIs and as many T20Is.
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