Sport / Cricket

AFP
Wire Service
1 minute read
11 Oct 2021
5:03 pm

Sweet 16 for Ireland’s Hunter who becomes youngest ODI centurion

AFP

"When I reached my hundred, I had no idea what to do, whether to take the helmet off or keep it on. It was unbelievable."

Amy Hunter of Ireland has become the youngest player to hit an international century. Picture: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Ireland’s Amy Hunter became the youngest centurion in one-day internationals on Monday after striking an unbeaten 121 against Zimbabwe on her 16th birthday.

Hunter hit eight fours in her 127-ball innings at number three and reached her century with a leg-side flick for four as Ireland finished their innings on 312-3 in Harare.

The youngest male batter to score an ODI century was Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, who scored 102 against Sri Lanka in 1996 aged 16 years and 217 days.

India’s Mithali Raj held the women’s record with an unbeaten 114 against Ireland in 1999 at the age of 16 years and 205 days.

“It feels really good — it’s a bit surreal,” said the teenager from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

“I didn’t really know what to think when I was coming up to my fifty. I just wanted to stick by and get there.

“When I reached my hundred, I had no idea what to do, whether to take the helmet off or keep it on. It was unbelievable.”

Hunter made her international debut against Scotland in May aged 15.

She is just the fourth woman to hit an ODI century for Ireland and the first since 2000.

Her historic achievement remarkably comes after her previous three ODI innings yielded single-figure scores of 2, 1 and 4.

Ireland’s women were on the wrong end of teenage prodigy heroics in 2018 when New Zealand’s 17-year-old Amelia Kerr smashed the highest score in women’s ODIs with an unbeaten 232.

Ireland lead 2-1 in their four-match ODI series with Zimbabwe.