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Mumbai girl emulates Smriti Mandhana with double ton in U-19 one-dayers

Jemimah Rodrigues, a 16-year-old right-handed batswoman, was representing Mumbai in a 50-over domestic match against Saurashtra when she slammed a double ton. She became the second Indian woman cricketer after Smriti Mandhana to hit a double century in U-19 One-day competition

cricket Updated: Nov 05, 2017 22:02 IST
Jemimah Rodrigues,Cricket,Women's cricket
Jemimah Rodrigues stunned many by hitting a double ton in a 50-over game for Mumbai. (Twitter)

On Sunday, Bandra-girl Jemimah Rodrigues became the youngest and only the second Indian woman cricketer after Smriti Mandhana to hit a double century in U-19 One-day competition. No one in Mumbai women’s cricket fraternity is surprised by the feat. The 17-year-old Jemimah seems to be one of those earmarked for greatness in their field.

The double century could have come in the previous match itself, but at the score of 178 (142 balls) she went for a big shot and threw the chance away, said Jayesh Dadarkar, coach of the Mumbai U-19 girls team.

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Representing Mumbai in a 50-over domestic match against Saurashtra at Aurangabad, Jemimah slammed a 163-ball unbeaten 202 (24 fours) helping her team to an imposing 347 for two.

The 17-year-old Rizvi College student is way ahead of the competition in her age group. She is not just the captain of the U-19 team; she captains the Mumbai’s U-23 side, West Zone Under-19 and U-23 teams, played for India U-19 and has just returned from attending the senior India women’s team camp held in Bangalore.

Usually, such big innings in limited overs format are result of big hitting, but those who have seen Jemimah bat vouch for how correct her technique is. “She stuck to playing in the V,” said coach Dadarkar.

“Cover drive is my favourite shot. I have spent hours and hours for three-four years perfecting it with my dad, who is my coach also. It is my main shot,” Jemimah told Hindustan Times.

Jemimah, who was first drafted into the U-19 side when she was only 12, has two centuries in this tournament. “In the same competition (U-19 Super Leagues) she averaged 325 plus last year,” said Dadarkar.

She should be close to the same average this time too. “After she got out for 178 (against Gujarat, on November 1), I told her next time she gets a chance, she should go for the double. She has done it,” said father Ivan.

“With her ability she will get big runs against better attacks too,” said her first Mumbai U-19 coach Sanjay Gaitonde, who Ivan said ensured Jemima was not short of exposure by regularly playing her in boys matches.

A supremely fit athlete, the stamina to play long innings comes from being a good hockey player. “I was the centre-forward of my school team, St Joseph’s, and have played nationals for the Mumbai and Maharashtra junior hockey teams,” Jemimah said.

Father Ivan added: “She also played basketball and football for her school. She is just born to play.”

First Published: Nov 05, 2017 17:12 IST