Keralite Asha Sobhana makes dream ODI debut

 Asha Sobhana
Asha Sobhana celebrates the wicket of South African batter Marizanne Kapp. Photo: PTI

Keralite Asha Sobhana made a dream One-Day International (ODI) debut in the first game of the three-match series against South Africa in Bengaluru on Sunday. 

Asha, who became only the second Kerala woman to play an ODI, claimed figures of 4/21 from 8.4 overs in India's thumping 143-run win. The leggie dismissed Marizanne Kapp to pick up her maiden wicket. She then wrapped up the South African innings by scalping three in the space of eight balls as the visitors were bowled out for 122. She had earlier made an unbeaten eight off five balls as India ended up with 265/8.

Yesteryear cricketer Susan Itticheria, who represented Tamil Nadu, is the first Malayali woman to play an ODI.

Asha received her cap from captain Harmanpreet Kaur. The 33-year-old also became the oldest Indian woman to make ODI debut. She had become the oldest Indian woman to make Twenty20 International (T20I) debut during the recent tour of Bangladesh. The Thiruvananthapuram native impressed in the two T20Is and earned a maiden call-up to the Indian ODI team. 

Asha was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore Bangalore team, which emerged champions in the Women's Premier League (WPL) earlier this year. Asha had become the first Indian to pick up a five-wicket haul in the WPL when she claimed 5/22 against UP Warriorz. 

The former Kerala captain is currently playing for Puducherry on the domestic circuit. She has also represented Railways.

Both Asha and another Keralite S Sajana are part of the T20I team for the series against South Africa.

The remaining ODIs will be played in Bengaluru on Wednesday and next Sunday, while the T20Is will be held in Chennai on July 5, 7 and 9.

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