Bristol, Jun 18 (PTI) Debutant Shafali Verma became only the fourth player -- and the youngest one -- in the history of women's cricket to hit consecutive half centuries on debut as she took India to 83 for 1 at tea in their second innings on the third day of the one-off Test against England here on Friday.
The 17-year-old promising star was batting on 55 not out off 68 balls at the tea break after India were forced to follow on. She hit 11 boundaries so far in her knock.
Another debutant Deepti Sharma, who was promoted to number 3 after her resolute 29 not out in India's first innings, was giving Verma company at the crease on 18 not out.
The duo defied the England bowlers for 20 overs and added 54 runs in the post-lunch session when tea was called due to rain. The post-lunch session itself started 30 minutes late due to rain. England toiled hard for the whole second session without any success.
The other opener Smriti Mandhana was dismissed in the morning session for 8. India are still trailing by 82 runs with nine second innings wickets in hand in the four-day match.
Verma, who had hit 96 in her first innings, continued her impressive form as she hit six more boundaries in the second session.
Earlier, India Women were left with a mountain to climb after being shot out for 231 in their first innings, half an hour before lunch.
After a dramatic collapse on the second day on Thursday, India's batting woes continued as they lost five wickets for the addition of just 44 runs in 21.2 overs in the morning session, undoing the tremendous effort by Verma (96) and Mandhana (78).
Deepti (29 not out) and Pooja Vastrakar (12) put up a 33-run stand for the ninth wicket but could not save the team from following on in response to England's first innings total of 396 for 9 declared.
Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone (4/88) was the pick of the England bowlers with four wickets while pacers Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole took the last two Indian wickets.
India scored their first run of the day after 20 balls and by then had lost two wickets, including the crucial one of vice captain Harmanpreet Kaur.
Harmanpreet was out after an England went for review in the second over of the day without adding anything to her overnight score of four. She was ruled leg before off Ecclestone.
Tanya Bhatia fell two overs later without disturbing the scorer after facing six balls. She too was dismissed by Ecclestone, who then accounted for Sneh Rana (2) with a turning delivery to reduce India to 197 for 8.
England took the new ball after 80 overs and the Indian first innings ended 1.2 overs after that with the dismissal of Pooja Vastrakar (12) and Jhulan Goswami (1). PTI PDS PDS SSC SSC