One person playing for the whole team? That was pretty much the case for Mpumalanga in their T20 game against Easterns during the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Girls Under-19 Week in Pretoria on Monday.
Shania-Lee Swart, who has been playing for the Mpumalanga Under-19s since she was 15, smashed 160 runs from 86 balls while the other batsmen contributed a grand sum of zero. Besides Swart’s 160, there were nine extras in her team’s 169 for 8 from 20 overs.
The performance comes hot on the heels of another stunning feat – she scored 289 out of her team’s 352 in a 50-over game on Friday. “She can hit you three fours and then if she sees her partner struggling, she will take strike and face the next over. That’s what happened here,” her father Baltus told ESPNcricinfo. “Easterns are a very good side, have really good bowlers, but the other girls just couldn’t get runs. Shania is strong. The bad ball she can hit far, the good balls she can drive down the ground. So it’s just that she is aggressive.”
Swart, who started off as a fast bowler and then changed to spin to concentrate on her batting, hit 144 of her runs in boundaries, with 12 sixes and 18 fours. She saw eight of her team-mates get ducks, and an opposition bowler take 5 for 15. The highest partnership of the innings was the unbroken 61 Swart added with No. 10 Nicholate Phiri, who faced three balls for no run. Mpumalanga eventually won the game by 42 runs.
“She is also a good hockey player and has been offered to play for University of Pretoria next year,” Baltus said. “The South African women’s coach Hilton Moreeng was there at this game, but he left when she was on 50. She does some athletics too – javelin and shot-put – so she has a lot of upper body strength. She was picked for the SA Under-19 side this week and they played one match together. She scored 68 and took three wickets.”—AFP