A 19-year-old batter in Cricket South Africa's (CSA) Under-19s week has given new meaning to the term "single-handedly won the game". On Monday in Pretoria, Mpumalanga U-19's Shania-Lee Swart opened the innings against Eastern Gauteng and scored a terrific knock of 160 from 86 balls.
What makes her innings even more impressive is the fact that she was the only player from her side to score any runs. Eight of her remaining teammates were dismissed for ducks, facing only 10 balls between them.
Swart finished the innings with an unbelievable unbeaten 61-run partnership for the 10th wicket, with tail-ender Nicholate Phiri. Like the rest of her teammates, Phiri didn’t score any runs and only faced three deliveries. Talk about hogging the strike!
Swart hit 18 fours and 12 sixes in her remarkable innings — a whopping 90 percent of her runs came from boundaries — to guide her team to 169. The remaining nine runs came through extras (five wides, three no balls and a leg bye). Eastern bowler Tumi Sekukune took an impressive five wickets for 15 runs, but she couldn't stop the 'Swart show'.
While chasing, the Eastern team were reduced to 127 for 6 in their 20 overs, losing the match by 42 runs. Swart, an all-rounder, contributed with the ball as well. She bowled the Easterns’ opener for a duck and finished the match with figures of 2-21 off her four overs.
Swart posted about her stunning innings on her Facebook page, where a fan congratulated her and jokingly said she should “give someone else a go next time”. Swart replied that she had to play tactically to make sure her team didn't score an embarrassing total.
“I wanted to (give someone else a go) but every time someone else was on strike we lost a wicket, so I had to play clever cricket to win the game for my team,” she said.
Swart's one-woman show came followed another impressive feat — she scored 289 out of her team's 352 in a 50-over match last Friday. Apart from being a very talented young cricketer, she is also a hockey player. The teenager has been offered to play hockey for University of Pretoria next year, her father Baltus told ESPNcricinfo. The all-rounder also participates in athletics, having played javelin and shot put as well.
"She has a lot of upper body strength. She can hit you three fours and then if she sees her partner struggling, she will take strike and face the next over. That's what happened," ESPNcricinfo reported her father as saying.
Swart is clearly a star in the making and a player to watch out for in the future!
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Updated Date: Dec 16, 2016 19:05:14 IST