Devine’s blitz turns back the clock on McCullum’s maiden IPL knock
It should come as no surprise that Brendon McCullum is one of the biggest influences on Sophie Devine. He once told The Hindu during an interview, “He has been an inspiration not only to me, but to the whole of New Zealand.” “He’s aggressive from ball one, regardless of the situation.”
She also plays like this. And, on Saturday night at the Brabourne Stadium, he played an innings that reminded cricket fans of a sensational knock their idol played a decade and a half ago. In 2008, McCullum got the first edition of the IPL off to a dream start, scoring an unbeaten 158 off 73 balls. He played that blunder for Kolkata Knight Riders against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Devine scored 99 off 36 balls for RCB against Gujarat Giants in the Women’s Premier League. It has shown what WPL is capable of.
Among those fine performances eclipsed by Devine’s brilliant effort was a brilliant 68 (42b) from Giants opener Laura Wolvaardt. Sophie played on a different planet today,” said the South African opener.
Devine continued to hit sixes – the biggest in the WPL – when he was not hitting fours.
She took 24 runs in the second over of the innings, bowled by Australian off-spinning all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner, who is at the top of her game at the moment (she was player of the tournament at last month’s T20 World Cup in South Africa). “She’s been a bully to many other people over the years and I think it’s only fair that she’s got a little bit of her back,” smiled Devine, a woman with a good sense of humor.
He said it was one of his best innings. “Cricket can be a fun game just because you do exactly the same thing every day and sometimes you get performances like this,” he said.
Monday’s matches: Gujarat Giants vs UP Warriors (3.30 PM); Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals (7.30 PM)