Litchfield takes international cricket by storm in debut year

Mumbai, (UNI) Phoebe Litchfield, Australia’s 20-year-old batting sensation has taken international cricket by storm in her debut year.

In December 2022, Litchfield wore the Australia cap for the first-ever time at the DY Patil Stadium in the city here.

Although the youngster didn’t get an opportunity to showcase her skills on that occasion, it was the beginning of what has been a splendid start to international cricket.

This was evident in her recent outstanding performance, scoring a superb 119 in the same city on Tuesday, 2 January, albeit at the Wankhede Stadium.

While Litchfield has impressed in limited T20I opportunities and has shown that she can apply herself in Test cricket, it is in the ODI format that the player has truly excelled.

Making a break in a side with stellar opening options like Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney, was no mean task, but Litchfield managed to create a space for herself.

An unbeaten 78 in her very first ODI against Pakistan in Brisbane helped her win a Player of the Match award. She followed it up with another unbeaten half-century (67*) against the same opponents in yet another emphatic win for Australia.

The youngster then suffered a series of low runs in the Women’s Ashes, scoring merely 39 runs from three innings.

However, she managed to hit form in Ireland. Her unbeaten 106 won her another Player of the Match award against the hosts. The knock included 14 fours and helped Australia win the contest by 10 wickets.

While she got starts against the West Indies, it was in India that the batswoman truly shined in the ongoing Australia tour of India. After a tough Test defeat last month, Litchfield helped lift her side with crucial knocks in the ODI leg of the tour.

In the first ODI, a spirited knock from Jemimah Rodrigues (82) helped the hosts set Australia a target of 283. Australia were in a tough spot early on when they lost Alyssa Healy for a duck.

However, Litchfield crafted a confident 147-run stand with Ellyse Perry to set a strong foundation for Australia. They needed 113 at less than a run-a-ball when the opener fell for 78. Her knock included eight fours and a six. It won her the Player of the Match award.

In the second ODI, Litchfield was the top-scorer for her side on a tough wicket. She anchored the tourists with a solid 63, hitting six fours. This helped them get to 258/8. Richa Ghosh’s 96 nearly pulled off a win for India, but Australia kept their cool to take the game by three runs.

The youngster gave a stellar performance in the third ODI as well, top-scoring with what was only her second ODI hundred. The knock, which included 16 fours and a six, helped Australia post 338/7. This is their highest-ever total against India in Women’s ODIs.

Australia went on to win the game by 190 runs. This helped them take the series 3-0.

Averaging over 60 in the format with 604 runs from 14 games, Litchfield made a bright start to 2024 with this stellar hundred.

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