New Zealander Sophie Devine has just smashed the fastest ever international T20 fifty, off just 18 balls, to help the White Ferns to an easy victory in the first of their three T20s against the Indians.
Devine came in in the first over at number three after Rachel Priest had fallen to the fifth ball of the first over. New Zealand were 2/1. She left the wicket to the third ball of the fifth over by which time she had scored 70 off 22 balls and New Zealand were 91/2 chasing just 126 to win.
It was an extraordinary innings which contained five 4s and eight 6s and beat the previous 22 ball 50 record of Deandra Dottin.
Unfortunately the game was not being televised so the only highlights were from the analyst's camera (click here for highlights), but it shows this was not a slog. It also shows how teams need to approach the first 6 overs of any T20 game. True this was an extreme example, but women's teams have to adopt a positive attitude in the powerplay overs, when only two fieldsmen are allowed outside the circle. Once the powerplay is done skippers just post five fielders on the boundary in front of square (three on the legside and two on the offside) and boundaries become virtually impossible.
An average score in women's T20 is about 120, with most sides being content to be 30/0 after 6 overs. It would actually be much better if they were 60/2 after 6 overs and then they would still score the same 90 runs off the next 14 overs taking their total to a much more challenging 150. Teams need to look for hard-hitting batsmen who are not afraid to go over the top, nor get out, and the team management need to give them licence to play this way.
Charlotte Edwards has promised a more positive attitude from the England batsmen this summer, so keep a watch on those first six overs in the T20s and the first 10 in the ODIs.