Magnificent Sophie Ecclestone headlines Trailblazers’ thumping of Velocity
Sophie Ecclestone starred with the ball in Trailblazers’ nine wicket thumping of Velocity in the second match of the Women’s T20 Challenge at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday (November 5). Velocity never recovered from her twin strikes in the fourth over and were skittled out for 48 in 15.1 overs. Trailblazers chased the target down in 7.5 overs with Deandra Dottin scoring 29*.
Opting to bat, Velocity innings started on a promising note with Shafali Verma looking like a million bucks once again. She first smashed Jhulan Goswami for a four before launching Ecclestone over long-off. But she departed soon when she tried to late cut a Goswami delivery that was on the stumps and was bowled.
Once Shafali was dismissed, Velocity needed someone to provide the impetus in the power play but they were put through a nightmare by Ecclestone. She was immaculate with her lengths, varying her pace and using arm balls to good effect.
Ecclestone first trapped skipper Mithali Raj in front for a solitary run when the veteran tried to guide one through the leg side. Veda Krishnamurthy, who looked in good in touch during the opening match, missed a quicker one trying to cut and was dismissed for first ball duck. Sushma Verma blocked a fuller one in the next ball to prevent the hat-trick.
Velocity were soon reduced to 19 for 5, losing five wickets for two runs, with Goswami taking out Danielle Wyatt and Sushma becoming another victim of an ill-advised cut off Ecclestone.
Velocity innings went from bad to worse when Rajeshwari Gayakwad emulated the number one ranked T20I spinner taking two in two. She had Sune Luus caught and bowled when the South African tried to play a tame defensive shot. Sushree Dibyadarshini went back and missed a fuller one in the next delivery to leave Velocity reeling at 27 for 7.
Shikha Pandey and Leigh Kasperek hit a couple of fours in the next over of Gayakwad to take the boundaries count to four. Pandey soon joined the procession after a misunderstanding leading to a run out. Velocity eventually were bundled out for a meagre 47 in 15.1 overs.
Shafali’s 13 remained the top score for the Velocity and Pandey was the only other player to reach double figures. Ecclestone finished with figures of 4 for 9, while Goswami and Gayakwad took two wickets each.
Chasing 48 was never going to be a challenge, Trailblazers started their innings steadily but lost skipper Smriti Mandhana for six when she mistimed one to Jahanara Alam at mid-wicket off Kasperek.
Deandra Dottin seemed to be in a hurry and was happy to go for shots even though missed a few of them. She hoicked both Pandey and Ekta Bisht to the leg-side for three boundaries. Young Richa Ghosh finished the innings with a huge six over long-on to complete a near perfect day for the Trailblazers side in 7.5 overs.
Velocity 48 all out in 15.1 overs (Shafali Verma 13; Sophie Ecclestone 4/9, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2/13) lost to Trailblazers 49/1 in 7.5 overs (Deandra Dottin 29*; Leigh Kasperek 1/5) by nine wickets. PoM: Sophie Ecclestone