Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone led a sensational bowling display from Trailblazers as they notched a dominant nine-wicket win over Velocity in their Women’s T20 Challenge match in Sharjah on Thursday.
Ecclestone, the world No 1 T20 bowler, grabbed four wickets for just nine runs in 3.1 overs while veteran Jhulan Goswami (2/13) and Rajeshwari Gaekawad (2/13) chipped in to dismiss Velocity for just 47 in 15.1 overs.
Trailblazers then chased down the small target of 48 in just 7.5 overs with opener Deandra Dottin and Richa Ghosh remaining not-out on 29 and 13 respectively. The only wicket they lost was captain Smriti Mandhana (6).
The Trailblazers also found it hard initially to get the boundaries and were 28/1 at the end of powerplay. Mandhana finally went for the aerial route but perished in the process but Dottin and Ghosh stayed on the attack and ended the match in quick time with Ghosh hitting a six to take her side to victory.
Velocity, who beat Supernovas in the event opener on Wednesday just 14 hours before, put up a poor batting display with left-arm spin duo of Ecclestone and Gaekawad wreaking havoc after Goswami ran through the top-order.
Only three of the Velocity batters could reach double digits ,with Shafali Verma (13) being the top-scorer, after captain Mithali Raj chose to bat first.
The teenaged India opener threatened to play a big innings as she hit a four and a six early one but the seasoned Goswami outfoxed the youngster, sending her stumps cart-wheeling. The pacer also got the other opener Danielle Wyatt, who holed out to Smriti Mandhana at mid-off.
Ecclestone then took two wickets in as many balls, getting the experienced Mithali (1) and then Veda Krishnamurthy (0) in a wicket-maiden before sending back last match’s hero Sushma Verma (1) in the sixth over.
Velocity were 22/5 at the end of powerplay but their misery continued as left-arm spinner Gayakwad also grabbed two wickets in as many balls in the ninth over removing Sune Luus (4) and Sushree Dibyadarshini (0). It even got worse for Velocity as Shikha Pandey (10) got run out following a brilliant fielding effort from Mandhana.
As things stand, Velocity’s net run rate took a beating after Thursday’s loss despite their win against Supernovas and they now need the Harmanpreet Kaur-led defending champions to lose their next game to reach the finals.
The next match will be between Supernovas and Trailblazers on Saturday.
Velocity: 47 allout in 15.1 overs (Shafali Verma 13; Sophie Ecclestone 4/9)
Traliblazers: 49 for 1 in 7.5 overs. ( Deandra Dottin 29 not out; Leigh Kasperek 1/5).
With PTI Inputs