Shikha Pandey | Sportzwiki

Shikha Pandey

Sneh Rana took three wickets on the first day of her Test debut Getty Images
Sneh Rana took three wickets on the first day of her Test debut Getty Images
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England Women Resorted To Constant Sledging To Disturb Indian Women Team’s Concentration: Sneh Rana

England women players resorted to “constant sledging” to disturb the concentration of the Indian women team but they maintained their composure to pull off a thrilling draw for the Indian women’s team in the one-off Test here.

It was a tale of Indian women debutants as Shafali Verma (96 and 63), Deepti Sharma (3/65, 29* and 54), Taniya Bhatia (0 and 44*), Sneh Rana (4/131, 2 and 80*) and Pooja Vastrakar (1/53, 12 and 12) took the centre-stage to eke out a draw against England women after being followed-on in India’s first Test after seven years.

England Women Sledged A Lot, Says India's Savior Sneh Rana who first took four wickets, then played a match-saving knock of 80 not out in India's second innings. Courtesy: Twitter
England Women Sledged A Lot, Says India’s Savior Sneh Rana who first took four wickets, then played a match-saving knock of 80 not out in India’s second innings. Courtesy: Twitter

England Women Players Tried To Disturb Indian Women Players Who Were Unnerved

Needing two wickets in the final session, England women bowlers were on top and used all the tactics with close-in fielders and constant sledging but Sneh Rana and Taniya Bhatia remained unfazed.

“It was their job to disturb us, and they kept on doing so many things to achieve their goal,” Rana, who scripted a heroic act with Bhatia in their century-plus unbroken nine-wicket partnership, said at a virtual post-match conference on Saturday night.

India's Taniya Bhatia plays a shot during the one-off Test against England. — Reuters
India’s Taniya Bhatia plays a shot during the one-off Test against England. — Reuters

“We did not pay any attention and kept on talking to each other after every ball, be it from far or getting closer. It boosted us up. We just wanted to do it for our team. That was the only conversation we had in the middle.”

England women’s Sophie Ecclestone’s four wickets earlier in the day had England in a prime position to push for victory before an eighth-wicket partnership worth 41 runs between Sneh Rana and Shikha Pandey had India clinging on to the prospect of a draw at tea.

Sneh Rana, who on Test debut produced just the innings her side needed, reaching 80 not out off 154 balls to kill off any chance of the hosts sealing a result while Taniya Bhatia was unbeaten on 44 at stumps.

Sneh Rana And Deepti Sharma Opens Up On The One-Off Test

In her first match for India after five years, the spin allrounder Sneh Rana bowled 39.2 overs in the first innings before putting up the rescue-act batting at No 8.

“There was no nervousness. We just wanted to play our basics. There was sledging in the middle but we both decided to just focus on our batting and put in extra focus.I don’t think much and just keep myself busy. I didn’t want the situation to take over me so that I could play my natural game.”

Asked about missing a century on her Test debut, Rana said: “I didn’t think about the century. The team wanted me to stay so I was just playing ball-by-ball and contribute to the team.”

Sneh Rana remained unbeaten on 80 against England in the second innings
Sneh Rana remained unbeaten on 80 against England in the second innings (Courtesy: Reuters)

Promoted to No 3 after being unbeaten in the first innings, Deepti Sharma was steely in her partnership with Shafali Verma as she put in the foundation before England triggered a collapse. Indian women lost the momentum midway into the 2nd innings as they were staring on the brink of a defeat with the score at 199/7 before managing a respectable 344/8 following on.

“Actually, it was about starting all over again and play session by session. I always enjoy batting with Shafali, we know there will be sixes, boundaries anytime when she is playing.”

“I got a lot of confidence from my knock in the first innings, I just wanted to play close to my body in the second innings. I just played session-by-session,” Sharma said.

The England women and Indian women teams agreed to a draw at 6.13 pm local time with India 344 for 8 in their second innings following on, a lead of 179 runs, after Sneh Rana and Taniya Bhatia had combined for an unbroken stand of 104 for the 9th wicket.

India 231 (Verma 96, Mandhana 78, Ecclestone 4-88, Knight 2-7) and 344 for 8 (Rana 80*, Verma 63, Sharma 54, Bhatia 44*) (f/o) drew with England 396 for 9 declared (Knight 95, Dunkley 74*, Beaumont 66, Rana 4-131, Sharma 3-65)

Shafali Verma became the thrid youngest Indian women cricketer to play Test cricket after she was handed her debut | Photo: BCCI women
Shafali Verma became the thrid youngest Indian women cricketer to play Test cricket after she was handed her debut | Photo: BCCI women
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Shafali Verma, 17, Scores Gritty 96 On Her Test Debut Against England In Bristol

Shafali Verma continues to build her reputation as the next big thing in Indian cricket with scintillating innings on the Test debut. The 17-year-old smashed 96 runs in the ongoing Ine-off Test against England in Bristol, providing India with a solid start.

Shafali Verma belted 13 fours and two sixes during her 152-ball stay and her attempt to reach three figures with a big hit proved her downfall. She skied one from Kate Cross to hand an easy catch to Anya Shrubsole but not before having added 167 runs with her opening partner Smriti Mandhana.

India's Shafali Verma fell four runs of a century against England in the one-off Test in Bristol. - REUTERS
India’s Shafali Verma fell four runs of a century against England in the one-off Test in Bristol. – REUTERS

Shefali Verma’s Dismissal Resulted In A Mini-Collapse After Her 96 Runs Essay

However, her dismissal resulted in a mini-collapse with the tourists reduced to 187/5 at the close of play. Earlier, England had declared their first innings at 396/9 with captain Heather Knight making 95  while Sophia Dunkley (74*) and Tammy Beaumont (66) also making significant contributions.

Day 2: Late Wickets Put England Women On Top After Shafali Verma-Smriti Mandhana Record StandEngland Women vs India Women: England took five late wickets to finish the day in the driving seat after Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana put up India's record opening partnership in Tests.ANIUpdated: June 18, 2021 12:41 AM ISTRead Time: 2 min Day 2: Late Wickets Put England Women On Top After Shafali Verma-Smriti Mandhana Record Stand Shafali Verma scored 96 against England Women, falling just four short of a maiden Test century on debut.© Twitter
Shafali Verma scored 96 against England Women, falling just four short of a maiden Test century on debut.© Twitter

While the chance at hitting three figures in debut innings must have left the youngster slightly disappointed but she has promised more is to come.

“I would like to thank each and every one of you for your kind words of support and for your wishes. It would not be possible to respond to each message individually. I am proud to be a part of this team and such wonderfully supportive teammates and support staff,” Shafali posted on her Twitter handle soon after the end of the second day’s play.

In another tweet, she added, “I know my father, my family, my Association, my team and academy will miss those 4+ runs more than me but I will make it up to them on other occasions. They have all been a huge support!”

India will hope to recover from the mini-collapse when they resume batting on Day 3, still trailing England by 209 runs. India openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma scripted a stunning opening stand but five quick wickets in the final hour of play brought England back in the game on Thursday.

England Stages Comeback With 5 Quick Wickets

The visitors went to stumps at 187/5 with Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma unbeaten on four and zero respectively. India was right on track to register a mammoth total but England struck late to snatch the driver’s seat as the visitors lost four wickets in the last half an hour. Punam Raut, skipper Mithali Raj, and Shikha Pandey all went cheaply as India wobbled at the end before the close of day’s play.

Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma script highest 1st wicket partnership for India against England in Test
Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma script highest 1st wicket partnership for India against England in Test | Photo Credit: AP

Earlier, England resumed their innings from 269/6 but suffered an early jolt as Jhulan Goswami dismisses Katherine Brunt in the 94th over. Meanwhile, Sophia Dunkley hit a fifty on Test debut as England scored their highest total against India Women.

In the third session, Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma continued their fine form and first brought up the 100-run stand and then registered India Women’s highest opening stand in Tests. The duo passed the 153-run partnership between Gargi Banerji and Sandhya Agarwal against Australia in Mumbai in 1984.

Shikha Pandey Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Shikha Pandey Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
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Shikha Pandey Emphasized Need For Women Players To Work On Mental Health In Quarantine

Shikha Pandey, India Women’s fast-medium bowling all-rounder emphasized the need for players to work on their mental health especially while in hard quarantine and bio-bubbles on overseas tours like the one in England.

The Indian Women’s Cricket Team, along with their male counterparts have arrived in England and are now in quarantine before the start of the long tour.

India Women
India Women. Getty Images.

Shikha Pandey: It’s Difficult To Quarantine For 14 Days

Veteran fast-medium bowling all-rounder, Shikha Pandey spoke about the challenges of staying in isolation just before the beginning of an important series. She stressed the need for the players to focus on their mental health during these challenging times.

The Indian Women’s team kick off their England tour with a one-off Test starting at Bristol from the 16th of June. They then play three ODIs and as many T20Is with the tour finally ending on the 14th of July. Shikha Pandey has represented India in two Tests, 52 ODIs and 50 T20Is. She has good returns from limited-overs cricket with 73 wickets at an average of 21.06 in ODIs and an excellent economy rate of 6.39 in T20Is.

Shikha Pandey
Shikha Pandey (Image: DNA India)

In an interview with Sportskeeda, Shikha Pandey spoke about the struggles and challenges of being in quarantine just before the start of a big series.

“The way things are and the situation is prevailing outside of India, I would say it’s difficult to quarantine for 14 days, but then this is how life is going to go ahead going forward. It’s not ideal for us athletes to be isolation before heading into big series,” quoted Pandey.

Shikha Pandey re-emphasized how important it was for athletes like her to train and be in constant touch with one another in the team which a hard quarantine does not allow.

“As professionals, we are used to being on the field, active, day in and day out. So, it is really very difficult to get going in isolation with respect to mental and physical well-being”

She added that it was a big challenge for players to stay in isolation and that it had an adverse effect on their mental well-being.

Shikha Pandey Stresses On Mental Aspect Which Is Equally Important As The Physical Aspect

Shikha Pandey further stated that the players had to work as hard on their mental and emotional health as their physical training.

“Mental aspect is equally important as the physical aspect, it is very crucial more so with the quarantine, the bio bubble fatigue, and this pandemic, otherwise it becomes difficult to free your mind. I consider myself very privileged as I get to do what I love, whereas there are so many others who are even finding it difficult to survive and even eat one meal in a day peacefully,” said Shikha Pandey.​

Mithali Raj played 89 T20Is for the India women's cricket team. Twitter
Mithali Raj played 89 T20Is for the India women’s cricket team. Credit: Twitter.

India men’s team’s captain Virat Kohli, women’s team captain Mithali Raj, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Jhulan Goswami were among the few who were captured before the players left for England. The men’s team will play six Test matches in England, including the World Test Championship final against New Zealand. On the other hand, the women’s team will feature in a one-off Test, three One-Day Internationals, and three Twenty20 Internationals.

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India Women’s Team To Play 1st Ever Pink Ball Day-Night Test Against Australia In 2021: Jay Shah

Jay Shah, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Secretary, announced that the women’s team will be playing their first-ever day-night Test later this year. India Women will be playing the pink-ball Test against Australia later this year.

India and England Women will also be playing a Test match in June this year. This would be the first Test for the women’s team in the last seven years.

Jay Shah ©PTI
Jay Shah ©PTI

Jay Shah Announced BCCI Women Will Play Their First Ever Pink Ball Day-Night Test Later In 2021 Against And In Australia

India women last played a Test match in November 2014, against South Africa.  In April 2021, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed the fixtures for the tour, including the one-off Test match, and three Women’s One Day International (WODI) and three Women’s Twenty20 International (WT20I) matches. BCCI secretary Jay Shah announced that the women’s team will play its first-ever pink-ball Test in Australia later this year.

“Taking forward our commitment towards women’s cricket, I am extremely pleased to announce that Team India @BCCIwomen will play in their first-ever pink ball day-night Test later this year in Australia,” tweeted Jay Shah.

Jay Shah is an Indian businessman and cricket administrator. Jay Shah is the son of Amit Shah, Home Minister of India. Jay Shah became the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary in 2019. Jay Shah is also the president of the Asian Cricket Council.

For the England tour, as expected 17-year-old opener Shafali Verma broke into the ODI and Test squads. Senior pacer Shikha Pandey, who was dropped from the home series against South Africa Women in March this year, has been called back for the all-important tour ahead of the 50-over World Cup in February next year.

 India Women opener Shafali Verma (Reuters Image)
India Women opener Shafali Verma (Reuters Image)

Mithali Raj will be captaining the ODI and Test sides, while the responsibility of leading India Women in the shortest format will be on Harmanpreet Kaur. Taniya Bhatia and Indrani Roy have been named as the two wicketkeeper-batters for the tour.

Overall, this will be the second Day-Night Test in the history of women’s cricket. The first one was played between England and Australia in Sydney in 2017.

The Test match will be the Mithali Raj-led side’s first in Australia since the Adelaide Test in 2006. Australia and India have played 9 Tests, with Australia winning 4 of them and the other five being drawn. Also, India Women will play 2 Test matches in a single year for the first time after 2014.

BCCI Announced Annual Player Contracts For India’s Senior Women

The BCCI on Wednesday had announced the annual player contracts for Team India (Senior Women) for the period from October 2020 to September 2021. Teen sensation Shafali Verma has now been elevated from Grade C to Grade B. The youngster has taken the women’s game by storm and as a result, she has been rewarded by the board.

Punam Raut and Rajeshwari Gayakwad have also been elevated from Grade C to Grade B. Women’s T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Poonam Yadav are the three names that have been placed in category A and they will be getting Rs 50 lakhs for this period.

India women
India women last played a Test match in 2014. Image-DNA

Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Deepti Sharma, Punam Raut, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Taniya Bhatia, and Jemimah Rodrigues have been placed in category B and they all will be receiving INR 30 lakhs for this period.

In Grade C, Mansi Joshi, Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastrakar, Harleen Deol, Priya Punia, and Richa Ghosh have been placed and they will be getting INR 10 lakhs for this period. India women’s team will next be seen in action against England as both teams will lock horns in a one-off Test, three T20Is, and three ODIs.

The Indian women’s cricket team has reached England to play a one-off Test against England. The BCCI had arranged for charter flights for men’s as well as women’s players for their departure to England. On Monday, Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur took to social media to laud BCCI’s effort to arrange charter flights for the women’s team.

Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta. (Photo Source: Instagram)
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Ramesh Powar’s Appointment As Women Team’s Coach Surprised Deep Dasgupta

Ramesh Powar’s appointment as the head coach of the Indian women’s cricket team left many surprised. Deep Dasgupta has now questioned the basis of WV Raman’s exit as the coach.

Former Indian cricketer Ramesh Powar returned as the head coach of the Indian women’s cricket team for the second time after predecessor WV Raman was shown the door. The move by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) baffled people for multiple reasons.

WV Raman PC: Twitter
WV Raman PC: Twitter

Ramesh Powar’s Appointment As Women Team’s Head Coach Surprised Deep Dasgupta As WV Raman Led Women Team To Finals Of T20 World Cup 2020

WV Raman had done reasonably well as the coach of the team, taking them to the final of T20 World Cup 2020 but still, he was replaced by Ramesh Powar, leaving many experts including Deep Dasgupta baffled.  Even Ramesh Powar had a successful spell with the Indian women team before the allegations of ‘bias’ by Mithali Raj saw him being axed. The management’s decision to award him the job once again, hence, has raised many eyebrows.

Speaking on Sports Today, Deep Dasgupta highlighted the importance of continuity in the team as both Ramesh Powar and WV Raman produced promising yet short spells in charge.

“I Know WV from the last 20 years, I mean personally. He came in as our coach in 2001 and I have obviously a great rapport with Ramesh, obviously I have played a lot with him and against him. The only thing which strikes me as you mentioned, it hasn’t been too long with WV and whatever he has done. He has done well, my only concern is that there has to be some continuity,” said the former India wicket-keeper batsman.

Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)
Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)

“The last time Indian cricket team a major tournament, played the finals of the World Cup. Like I said both of them are extremely close to me and I like both of them but I just wish there is some continuity. There hasn’t been much cricket (for India Women due to Covid-19) so I don’t know on what basis WV Raman was not there.

You can ask the same question why Ramesh was initially sacked because he did fairly well as well. So, I just hope there is continuity now,” Deep Dasgupta told Sports Today.

The women’s ODI World Cup is re-scheduled in New Zealand in less than a year’s time in 2022 and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will follow the event. The three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising Madan Lal, Sulakshana Naik, and RP Singh, interviewed the applicants and unanimously agreed on Ramesh Powar’s candidature.

Ramesh Powar will replace WV Raman, who was appointed the head coach of the India women’s team in December 2018. During Raman’s tenure, India managed to reach the finals of the T20 World Cup 2020. The Harmanpreet Kaur-led side ended up losing the summit clash against Australia.

Deep Dasgupta Stresses On Continuity

Since the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup, not much women’s cricket has taken place as far as the Indian Women team is concerned. Deep Dasgupta, hence, feels there weren’t many performance-related reasons backing the change in coach.

“The last time Indian cricket team a major tournament, played the finals of the World Cup. Like I said both of them are extremely close to me and I like both of them but I just wish there is some continuity. There hasn’t been much cricket (for India Women due to Covid-19) so I don’t know on what basis WV Raman was not there. You can ask the same question why Ramesh was initially sacked because he did fairly well as well. So, I just hope there is continuity now,” he said.

Mithali Raj File Image (Twitter.com/@ICC)
Mithali Raj File Image (Twitter.com/@ICC)

With Mithali Raj still an integral part of the Indian ODI team, she and head coach Ramesh Powar would need to patch up their differences for the common good of the Indian team.

Ramesh Powar had represented India in 2 Tests and 31 ODIs. After his playing career, he took up cricket coaching and is an ECB Level 2 certified coach. He has also attended the BCCI-NCA Level 2 coaching course. Ramesh Powar had earlier served as the head coach of the Indian Women’s Team from July-November 2018. It was under his stint that the Indian eves qualified for the semi-final of the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in 2018. Besides, they also won 14 T20I games in a row.

The BCCI on Friday announced the Indian women’s squad for the upcoming tour of England. It is comprised of a One-off Test match, 3 ODIs, and as many T20Is. Veteran Indian batswoman Mithali Raj will lead the side in the Test and ODIs with Harmanpreet Kaur as her deputy.

Teen batting sensation Shafali Verma and seasoned pacer Shikha Pandey have made it to all three squads after their South Africa home series snubs. Wicketkeeper-batter Indrani Roy has been rewarded with maiden Test and ODI call-up for India’s tour of England. Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad missed out due to an injury.

deepti Sharma, ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020, bengal government, honoured
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Deepti Sharma Honoured For Her Achievement In T20 World Cup By Bengal Government

Indian women’s allrounder Deepti Sharma has been honoured by the West Bengal government for her contribution in the recently concluded ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020. Team India reached the grand finale of the tournament for the first time in WT20 WC cricket history.

In the final, Deepti Sharma bagged the wickets of Meg Lanning and Ashleigh Gardner against Australia. But it was too late then as the openers Alyssa Haley and Beth Mooney had set the game in Australia’s favour. Also, she was the highest scorer for the team, scoring 33 runs, in that marquee clash. But all her effort went into vain as India lost the game by 85 runs.

Deepti Sharma Honoured For Her Achievement In T20 World Cup By Bengal Government 1
Deepti-Sharma (Photo SOurce: ESPNcricinfo)

Deepti Sharma feels privileged

However, the 22-year-old was recognised for her achievement in the tournament. She took to Twitter to share her joy.

“Privileged to be felicitated by the Dept. of Youth Services and Sports, Govt. of WB. Thank you for this honor Mr Laxmi Ratan Shukla (Ex- Cricketer, MoS – Youth Services and Sports), Mr Arup Biswas(Public Works and Youth Affairs and Sports Minister) and Mr Gurbux Singh (Hockey great),” Deepti tweeted.

All in all, she scored 116 runs in five matches and picked four wickets in that tournament.

Shikha Pandey also felicitated for her achievements:

shikha Pandey
Shikha Pandey honoured for her achievement.

Deepti Sharma is not the only women cricketer to be felicitated for her achievements in the recent Women’s T20 World Cup. Indian Air force recognised her teammate fast bowler Shikha Pandey. She holds the rank of Squadron Leader, and she was felicitated by Air Marshal MSG Menon. Pandey was the fruitful bowler in the whole tournament. In curtain-raiser match against Australia, she picked three wickets while giving only 14 runs. However, she could not repeat the same magic in the final, where she proved expensive.

Meanwhile, India’s women team has no match or series scheduled because of coronavirus outbreak. There were also talks about starting women’s IPL, but due to the spread of the virus, it seems impossible.

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Clinical India thrash S.Africa in opening women’s ODI

Kimberly (South Africa), Feb6: Opener Smriti Mandhana’s superb fifty and the pace duo of Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey combining for seven wickets, guided the Indian women’s team to a 88-run win over South Africa in the first of the three-match ODI rubber here on Monday.

The win meant India picked up two points towards the ICC Women’s Championship in their first game.

Electing to bat after winning the toss, India rode on Smriti’s 98-ball 84, laced with eight boundaries and a six, and skipper Mithali Raj’s 70-ball patient 45, to post 213/7.

Smriti first raised a 55-run opening stand with her opening partner Poonam Raut (19) to set the tone before joining forces with Mithali for a 99-run second wicket stand.

The rest of the Indian batting including all-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur (16) and stumper Sushma Verma (15) got the starts but failed to capitalise, while Veda Krishnamurthy (2) and Deepti Sharma (6) were run out cheaply.

In response, the South Africans failed to get going against the disciplined Indian new ball pair of Jhulan (4/24) and Shikha (3/23).

Opener Laura Wolvaardt (21) and skipper Dane van Niekerk (41) raised the hopes of the home side with a brief 19-run stand before Laura departed.

van Niekerk continued to fight a lone battle before the lower order batswomen — Marizanne Kapp (23) and Suné Luus (21 not out) — added some spice but leg-spinner Poonam Yadav (2/22) applied the brakes yet again as the hosts folded for 125 in 43.2 overs.

Brief Scores: Indian women 213/7 (Smriti Mandhana 84, Mithali Raj 45; Marizanne Kapp 2/26) beat South African women 125 (Dane van Niekerk 41, Marizanne Kapp 23; Jhulan 4/24, Shikha Pandey 3/23) by 88 runs.

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Goa beat Bengal to emerge women’s Plate group champions

Kolkata, Dec 27: Goa rode on India international Shikha Pandey’s half century and disciplined bowling efforts from Santoshi Rane and Sunanda Yetrekar to thrash Bengal by 37 runs and emerge champions in Plate Group of the Senior Women’s One Day League at the Eden Gardens here on Tuesday.

Goa skipper Shikha led from the front top scoring with 66 off 89 balls (8×4, 1×6) to take them to 147/9 after Bengal opted to bowl.

Nisha Maji (3/31) and Gayatri Mal (2/20) gave Bengal regular breakthroughs but the Goan captain and Bharati Gaonkar (32 not out off 78 balls; 1×4) ensured that they batted the full 50 overs.

In reply, medium pacer Santoshi (3/24) and leg-spinner Sunanda (3/13) ripped through the Bengal batting and the hosts were bundled out for 110 in 43.5 overs, with Shikha producing a superb bowling display returning with figures of 8-5-5-0.

Paramita Roy top-scored for Bengal with 42 before being run out by Sunanda while in the next ball Santoshi sealed the issue in the 44th over dismissing Bengal skipper Jhulan Goswami for seven.

Back from a wrist injury, the veteran India pacer Jhulan (1/13) could only bowl seven overs in the first innings.

By qualifying for the final, both Goa and Bengal will be promoted to the Elite group next year.

Brief Scores: Goa 147/9 in 50 overs (Shikha Pandey 66; Nisha Maji 3/31, Gayatri Mal 2/20) beat Bengal 110 in 43.5 overs (Paramita Roy 42; Sunanda Yetrekar 3/13, Santoshi Rane 3/24) by 37 runs.

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Shikha Pandey Felicitated by Goa Chief Minister

Shikha Pandey, a member of the Indian Women’s team who finished as the runners-up in the recently concluded ICC Women’s World Cup, was felicitated by Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar at the Assembly Complex in Porvorim. The quadrennial event was hosted by England and they were the eventual champions of the tournament as well. The English eves defeated the Indian girls by 9 runs in a thrilling final match. The match was in India’s grasp but it was the pressure of a final which denied India their maiden World Cup.

Following her felicitation, Shikha said that India’s sensational performance in the World Cup has helped in improving the infrastructure of the game for girls. Their performance has also given the budding women cricketers to take up the game on a professional front.

“The kind of cricket we have played in the World Cup will propel other girls around the world to take the game professionally. Their parents will also support them. Prior to this, it is not used to be like that. Following the Indian women’s cricket team good performance in the World Cup, a platform has been created for the girls to come up and take the cricket seriously,” Shikha was quoted as saying by ANI.

She was hopeful that cricket in Goa will improve in the coming days despite the place being more famous for football.

“Although Goa is famous for football, there are many girls coming forward to play cricket. I would not say that the opportunities are less in Goa. There is a lot of support (for cricket). One thing very good about Goa is that people are very open-minded. There is no differentiation between girls and boys. I believe we will get women’s cricket to a higher pedestal in Goa,” Shikha said.

Shikha has been a regular feature in the Indian team since her debut in 2014 and was instrumental in helping India to reach the final of the World Cup. It was only the 2nd time in history that India qualified for the final.

The medium pacer bagged three wickets against the Proteas and a couple against hosts England in the group stages. She was impressive in the semi-final against Australia as she returned with exceptional figures of 2/17 in her quota.

Indian Air Force Felicitates Bold Cricketer, Flight Lieutenant Shikha Pandey

The member of Indian women cricket team and all-rounder Shikha Pandey has been felicitated by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa at its headquarter based in New Delhi after all-round show from Women in Blue, in the recently concluded ICC Women’s World Cup in England, won praises from all the quarters under the leadership of Mithali Raj.

The 28-year-old Goa-born Shikha was the part of the team which ended up as runners-up of the 2017 50-over World Cup after losing the grand final by nine runs at iconic Lord’s against hosts England.

In 2012, the regular part of the women team now, Shikha was commissioned as Air Traffic Control Officer (ATCO) on June 30.

Interestingly, Shikha by the time became the first lady official to be inducted into the national side from the Services.

The fast bowler bagged eight wickets in the competition which was held between June 24 and July 23.

Shikha has played a significant part in the competition to qualify for the second final of the World Cup since 2005 when the India Eves lost the final against Australia in South Africa.

Brimming with confidence, Shikha conceded just 17 runs in the semi-final to claim two wickets in a bid to force out Meg Lanning’s Australia from the competition.

Indian Air Force Felicitates Bold Cricketer, Flight Lieutenant Shikha Pandey 2
Wearing headband and aiming big to step up in the international setup. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

(Read More: Mithali Raj Says the 2005 World Cup Was More Memorable Than the 2017 Edition)

However, India beat England in their opener of the league match on July 24 in which impressive Shikha claimed two wickets at Derby, before bagging three wickets against South Africa on July 8 at Leicester.

During the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, 2014 in Bangladesh, Shikha has made her debut against Bangladesh Women at Cox’s Bazar.

Shikha has featured in 32 ODIs, 22 T20Is and only two Tests for India. She has bagged 45 wickets in 50 over format and 12 in the 20-over leg, before bagging four wickets in the longer format, as she made her Test debut against England in August 2014 at Wormsley.