Even as the Delhi men’s Ranji team reached their nadir this season by losing to Puducherry in the first match, Delhi women’s cricketers are continuing to impress with the senior team extending their successful streak to seven matches in Senior Women’s One-Day Trophy and the under-23 women finishing as runners-up in their age-group tournament.
Their successes come on the back of the Delhi under-15 women’s team ending as runners-up in their age-group competition.
“We had a pool of good players. Some of them had represented Delhi at the under-19 level just prior to the under-23 tournament and a few were with the senior team. I just needed to assign roles to the players and give them the responsibilities,” said Deepti Dhyani, coach of the under-23 team.
The under-23 women remained unbeaten till the final, beating Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Hyderabad and Maharashtra before losing the final to Madhya Pradesh.
Right-handed batter Tanisha Singh (220 runs) and skipper Pratika Rawal (182 runs) were the top-scorers while off-spinner Madhu (18 wickets) and Parunika Sisodia (11) were the top wicket-takers for Delhi.
The 23-year-old Pratika, a psychology student who took up cricket in fourth standard and opens the batting, said, “We knew our roles well and the coaching staff backed us. Everything was very clear. That made a huge difference. It was a team effort.”
Pratika, whose father is an umpire in the local league and encouraged her to pick up cricket, is also part of the Delhi senior women’s team that won six matches on the trot. Tanisha, Madhu and Parunika are also part of the senior team.
Batter Shweta Sehrawat and leg-spinner Priya Mishra are among others to play for both the teams.
The senior team, that entered the semi-final on Monday, even scored their highest-ever one-day total, 455/4 in 50 overs against Nagaland in a league game with Shweta making a record 242 off 150 balls, Pratika hitting 101 and Tanisha 67. Delhi won that game by a huge 400-run margin. Against Kerala too, Shweta and Pratika scored half-centuries while Tanisha got a half-century against Baroda and a century against Andhra. Pratika also scored a century against Himachal Pradesh while Shweta and Tanisha scored fifties in the same game.
Madhu, Priya and Parunika have been among wickets in the senior tournament as well.
Meenakshi Bhaskar, who was manager of the under-23 team says, “We could have won the trophy but slipped in the final. We got only about 10 days to prepare but the fact that some of the girls had been playing under-19s (that team didn’t do well) helped. Also, we had nets with the boys because they bring in more challenges and variety.”