IMAGE: Ireland’s Amy Hunter bettered the record previously held by India’s Mithali Raj, who scored 114 not out against Ireland at the age of 16 years and 205 days in June 1999. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Amy Hunter became the youngest player to score an ODI century on Monday, when she hit an unbeaten 121 to guide Ireland victory over Zimbabwe on her 16th birthday, in Harare.
The effort bettered the record previously held by India’s Mithali Raj, who scored 114 not out against Ireland at the age of 16 years and 205 days in June 1999.
Hunter, playing only her fourth ODI, struck eight boundaries in her 127-ball knock as Ireland beat Zimbabwe by 85 runs.
Raj, 38, continues to play in the ODI and Test formats, leading the Indian teams in both.
“It feels really good — it’s a bit surreal,” said the schoolgirl from Belfast in 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.
She is just the fourth woman to hit an ODI century for Ireland and the first since 2000.
The youngest male batter to score an ODI century remains Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, who scored 102 against Sri Lanka in 1996 aged 16 years and 217 days.