It seems when it comes to the New Year period, New Zealand cricketers seem to master the art of shattering a world record. In January 2014, Corey Anderson broke a 17-year ODI record when he blasted a century off just 36 balls against the West Indies in Queenstown to break the previous record of 37 balls held by Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi. Now, in January 2021, another New Zealand player has shattered a world record during the Women’s Super Smash tournament. In the clash between Wellington Blaze and Otago Sparks at the University Oval in Dunedin, New Zealand cricket team captain Sophie Devine created history as she blasted the fastest T20 century in the history of woman’s cricket. Her century came off just 36 balls and it broke the previous record of 38 balls set by West Indies star Deandra Dottin during the 2010 ICC Women’s World T20 encounter against South Africa in St Kitts.
Sophie Devine‘s knock included nine fours and nine sixes as Wellington Blaze defeated Otago Sparks by 10 wickets. The knock was even more remarkable considering that she was in managed 14-day isolation after returning from Australia. But, Sophie Devine showed no rust as her power-hitting continued. One of the shots which she hit grazed a girl sitting on the grass bank and she was slightly injured. After the match, Sophie Devine checked on the girl and she was given a signed jersey.
This was the first time Sophie Devine was playing competitive cricket ever since November 25, when she played for the Perth Scorchers in the Women’s Big Bash League. Speaking to stuff.co.nz, Sophie Devine admitted that she was nervous but stated she was focused on playing only smart cricket. “(I wanted) to know where my gaps were, trying to manipulate the field … I felt I knew where they were trying to bowl so if I could manipulate myself around the crease, I could open up areas of the field, so, yeah, I’m pleased with the way it went today,” Devine said.
A hat and a snap.
All class from @sophdevine77 post-match. She went and sat with the fan who was hit during her innings.
— WHITE FERNS (@WHITE_FERNS) January 14, 2021
The assault was such that Wellington Blaze raced to the target of 129 in just 8.4 overs. The Otago Sparks managed just 128/7 with Jess Kerr and Leigh Kasperek restricting them to a below-par score. The Wellington Blaze is in the top spot in the Women’s Super Smash tournament while the Otago Sparks are second from the bottom with eight points from five games.
Records of Sophie Devine
Sophie Devine has been the most experienced New Zealand player in women’s cricket. She started playing cricket in 2006 and she is going strong even in 2020. Sophie Devine has played 108 ODIs and has scored 2660 runs at an average of over 31. She has hit 13 fifties and five centuries. In T20Is, Sophie Devine has played 94 T20Is and has scored 14 fifties and one century.
Sophie Devine is also a worthy bowler, having taken 73 and 91 wickets in ODIs and T20Is respectively at a good average. Her presence in the New Zealand cricket team has ensured that they are a force to be reckoned with.