India have set a new international cricket record after their women’s side smashed the highest-over opening partnership in a one-day international on Monday.
Openers Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut put on 320, the largest first-wicket stand in ODI history – men’s or women’s – with both batters crashing their maiden 50-over centuries to fire India to a huge win over Ireland in Potchefstoom.
The epic stand ended when Sharma fell for 188 off 160 balls in the 46th over to finally hand Ireland their first wicket of the match.
Sharma’s first international ton was remarkably the second-highest score ever in a women’s ODI, behind former Australia captain Belinda Clark’s record of 229 against Denmark in 1997.
Raut retired not out on 109 from 116 balls three deliveries after 19-year-old Sharma was dismissed. The opening duo belted 38 fours and two sixes between them in their onslaught.
The mammoth opening stand was not only the highest women’s partnership in the format, it was just the fourth 300-plus run partnership in combined men’s and women’s ODI history.
Harmanpreet Kaur didn’t get a bat, as India racked up 2-358 from their allotted 50 overs.
Showing no signs of tiring after her record knock, Sharma also managed to snare the first wicket of the Ireland innings, removing young opener Leah Paul for 13 in the 17th over.
Ireland were eventually bowled out for 109 to hand India a 249-run win, the sixth-highest victory margin (on runs) in women’s ODIs.
It comes after India fast-bowler Jhulan Goswami last week became the leading overall wicket-taker in women’s ODIs, going past the 181-wicket mark set by former Australia star Cathryn Fitzpatrick.
The match was part of an ongoing Quadrangular series held in South Africa also featuring Zimbabwe and the Proteas.
HIGHEST ODI PARTNERSHIPS (MEN'S AND WOMEN'S)
372 - Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, West Indies against Zimbabwe, 2015
331 - Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, India against New Zealand, 1999
320 - Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut, India Women against Ireland Women, 2017
318 - Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, India against Sri Lanka, 1999