Ireland were on the receiving end of a world record ODI partnership between Indian openers Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut, losing by 249 runs in the latest game of the Quadrangular Series in South Africa.
Both Sharma and Raut scored centuries in a 320-run stand, passing the previous record of 268 set by Sarah Taylor and Caroline Atkins for England against South Africa at Lord’s in 2008.
Sharma hit 27 fours and 2 sixes in a powerful 188 from 160 balls – the second best individual score in ODI’s. Her fantastic innings has been bettered only by Belinda Clark, who made 229 for Australia against Denmark in Mumbai back in 1997.
Poonam Raut hit 109 from 116 balls (11 fours) as the Irish attack wilted after a promising start – India finishing on an imposing 358 for 2.
Amidst the carnage, 13 year-old Louise Little emerged relatively unscathed – bowling her ten over spell straight through while conceding only 40 runs.
“Myself and Amy (Kenealy) kept them relatively quiet in the opening overs trying to build some pressure,” said the Pembroke teenager. “I tried to vary my lengths and mix it up a bit to keep them guessing.
“The openers batted superbly and you have to pay tribute to their quality. They are obviously a top-rate side packed with experience who have now won 16 consecutive matches – one short of the record.
“It’s a steep learning curve for our young squad but we’ve learned so much on this tour and that can only be good for the women’s game going forward,” added Little.
In reply Ireland were dismissed for 109, with Malahide’s Mary Waldron top scoring with 35, and Jenny Gray making 26.
Rajeshwari Gayakwad took 4-18 with her left-arm spin, while Shikha Pandey picked up 3-16.
Ireland are back in action on Wednesday when they take on Zimbabwe.
Quadrangular Series, At Potchefstroom, South Africa:
India 358-2 (50 overs; D Sharma 188, P Raut 109)
Ireland 109 (40 overs; M Waldron 35, J Gray 26, R Gayakwad 4-18, S Pandey 3-16)
India won by 249 runs