In all my years of following the strange and fascinating sport of cricket I have never seen a scorecard like the one below. In fact, if somebody had told me about it I probably wouldn't have believed them ... but this incredible innings happened recently. The match I am referring to was part of the Cricket South Africa Girls U-19 inter-provincial tournament, a 20-over contest between Mpumalanga and Easterns on 12 December 2016. Mpumalanga batted first and scored 169 for the loss of 8 wickets in their 20 overs. Not particularly remarkable, I hear you say.
But incredibly, one player scored no less than 160 runs of the innings total of 169, and the remaining 9 runs were extras! Not one of the other batsmen managed to score a single run. It seems inconceivable that this could happen over the course of 20 overs (in fact, there were 128 deliveries because the Easterns bowlers served up 5 wides and 3 no-balls). But happen it did - Shania-Lee Swart faced 86 of the 128 deliveries bowled and scored 160 runs, a strike rate of over 186; she hit 144 runs in boundaries, a staggering 90% of her total. Oddly enough, her boundaries were exactly divided between sixes and fours - 72 runs each (18 fours and 12 sixes).
Even more amazingly, it seems that young Shania-Lee Swart makes a habit of performing impossible batting feats - on 9 December 2016 (three days before the match described above) she scored 289 out of her team's total of 352 in a 50-over match. At least on that occasion the other batsmen succeeded in contributing a few measly runs of their own (not many though; Shania-Lee's runs were over 82% of the total).
There's no doubt that this young girl is destined for great things on the cricket field, and I wish her all the best. Let's hope she keeps up her appetite for runs ...