October 6, 2021

Mary Anne: It’s still sinking in

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Brighton Zhawi

The cap, the toss, the catch, the ton and the win, it got too much for Mary-Anne and she says it’s still sinking in.

She is the sixth women’s cricketer to score a hundred on ODI debut.

The Zimbabwe cricket women’s team beat Ireland by four wickets at Harare Sports Club in their first ever ODI. That too is still sinking in for Mary-Anne Musonda who wrote a remarkable piece of her-story as she made history.

Speaking exclusively to this writer, Mary-Anne opened up on the emotions of Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

“I think only now is it sinking in that yesterday (Tuesday) was a big day with regards to my performance,” she said.

“I think mostly yesterday I was too tired to think about it and I was mostly celebrating the team’s win. And the fact that we were all on debut, you know it was a historic day for all of us with a lot of brilliant moments as well, so I think only today am I beginning to kind of process my performance and my contribution.”

Her contribution, an unbeaten 104 that guided Zimbabwe to a four-wicket win and puts her in exclusive company.

England’s’ Derryth Lynne Thomas (the first woman to score a 100 on ODI debut back in 1973), Enid Blake another English woman, who scored a hundred on debut also in 1973, India’s Reshma Gandhi who became the third player to record such a feat in 1999 ironically against Ireland, her compatriot Mithuli Raj, who also scored her hundred in the same match and Australia’s Nicole Bolton in 2014.

“Reaching the century, to be honest I was thinking about it, I remember I was talking to Precious Marange when we were batting and she was teeing off pretty well and I think we needed 16 runs and I was on 94 or 80 something and she was getting most of the strike and I was telling her if you have to go for the runs, go for them, don’t think about my century because you don’t want to put the team in a position where you start blocking out until I get my century and then we win. If we have to win without me getting that century…I will be very satisfied. I got the century and the team won, so it was a good day.”

Mary-Anne won the toss, perhaps it was a sign of good things to come.

“I think yesterday started on a good note when we won the toss,” she reckons.

“We had agreed to field first if we won the toss so that was a positive start to the day.”

And then came the priceless capping moment.

“Everyone was being capped, we had the selectors capping us. I think for me and Pellagia I think we are the pioneers, sort of, to speak, because we were kids when the first ever Zimbabwe Women’s cricket tour in Kenya in 2006. So for them to be present and to give us our caps yesterday was quite special.”

Ireland got off to a good start before Precious Marange’s off spin got the break-through with skipper Mary-Anne completing the dismissal with a catch.

“I am glad that I was able to grab that one and keep it as a catch. From there we went on to bowl and had a good show, obviously some slower patches in the middle 30s to 40s thereabouts, but I thought we all tried to go through our processes and our plans. Obviously working towards ODI qualifiers there are obviously areas to work on.”

What about the special innings?

“Going on to batting, I thought we probably lost early wickets, but (I even came on after the first two wickets trying to steady the ship and I think we all did that quite well.”

The skipper expects another good show in the second ODI.

“We hope we continue with momentum, tomorrow is a totally different day, obviously after winning the other team will come back stronger, so we are quite cognisant of that. We still want to go through our processes and every person still would want to contribute towards putting the team in a winning position.”

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