Ireland’s Amy Hunter eclipses Mithali Raj to become youngest ODI centurion
The Belfast schoolgirl eclipsed Raj’s record who scored an unbeaten 114, incidentally against Ireland at the age of 16 years and 205 days in June 1999.
Updated - Oct 11, 2021 11:23 pm
Ireland’s Amy Hunter surpassed Mithali Raj’s 22-year-old record on Monday (October 11) to become the youngest player to score an ODI century. She scored an unbeaten 121 off 127, including eight fours, on her 16th birthday to power her team to 312/3 before the bowlers restricted Zimbabwe to 227/8 to clinch the game by a comfortable margin of 85 runs.
Monday’s encounter was just Hunter’s fourth ODI outing. She is also the new record-holder for the highest individual score by any Ireland women batter, as she bettered Karen Young’s 120, which came against Pakistan in 2000.
The Belfast schoolgirl eclipsed Raj’s record who scored an unbeaten 114, incidentally against Ireland at the age of 16 years and 205 days in June 1999. Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi holds the record in Men’s ODIs, having struck an unbeaten 102 against Sri Lanka in October 1996 at the age of 16 years and 217 days.
“It feels really good, it’s a bit surreal right now,” Hunter said after her Player of the Match performance. “When I was coming up to my fifty, I just wanted to stick by and get there, then when I came to my hundred I didn’t know what to do, take my helmet off or keep it on, but it was unbelievable.
Hunter, who had scores of 2, 1 and 4 in the series before the fourth ODI on Monday, admitted that she was more nervous for her half-century. “I felt more nervous for my fifty. I didn’t do so well in the first three games so I was just delighted to be out there and get that first four away and from there it kind of flowed. From fifty to a hundred felt like it went much quicker than from nought to fifty.”
Hunter added 143 for the third wicket alongside skipper Laura Delany, who scored 68 off 53, while a crucial contribution also came from opener Gaby Lewis, who scored 78 of 86. Speaking about Delany, who was at the crease when Hunter reached to the landmark, she said: “Del’s so supportive of me and she always backs me and tells me to back myself and back my skills so it was unbelievable,” Hunter said.
Ireland clinched the four-match series against hosts Zimbabwe 3-1.