In the second of the four match Women’s T20 Challenge, Smriti Mandhana led Trailblazers took on the newly introduced team Velocity led by Mithali Raj.
Velocity won the toss and elected to field first. Trailblazers made one change as experienced Jhulan Goswami was rested in place of Bharati Fulmali. Velocity fielded the team with 8 domestic and 3 overseas players, all making their debut for the team.
Smriti Mandhana and Suzie Bates opened the innings for Trailblazers. Mandhana started the inning by smashing two boundaries in the first over of Pandey. But Pandey got her revenge as she forced Mandhana to nudge a outgoing delivery in the third over and she was caught by the keeper Verma for 10.
Deol, who batted patiently and built a crucial inning in the previous match joined Bates and got off the mark with a boundary. Both the batters took their time to set and in 7th over, Bates hit Matthews for the first six of the match. Deol picked up a boundary in the next over.
Trailblazers reached 50 at the end of the 8th over. Immediately Bisht lured Bates to hit a bit shot but she was caught at the deep by Krishnamurthy for 26 off 24 deliveries. Windies skipper Stafanie Taylor arrived at the crease but found runs extremely hard to come by and struggled to rotate the strike. She and Deol could add only 16 runs in the next 5 overs.
In the 14th over, Taylor’s torment was ended by Sushree as she took a catch on her own bowling to dismiss Taylor for 5 runs off 18 deliveries. Sharma walked in at 68-3 and she too struggled to rotate the strike. A welcomed boundary came after almost 6 overs as Sharma dispatched Sushree to the midwicket boundary. The pair collected 2 more boundaries in the next over.
100 runs came for the Trailblazers in 18th over but Sharma and Deol were caught at the deep on the consecutive deliveries. Considering the lack of easy runs, Deol played well for her 43 in 40 deliveries. Kerr took both the wickets. Bharati Fulmali was clean bowled by Bisht in the next over for 2. 8 runs in the final over took Trailblazers to 112-6.
Deol was the highest scorer for Trailblazers with 42 whereas for Velocity, Bisht and Kerr taking 2 wickets each.
Chasing 113 to win, Hayley Matthews and 15-year old Shafali Verma opened the inning. Matthews hit a boundary off the second delivery which went through straight between Ecclestone at square leg. In the next over Ecclestone put down another catch off her own bowling when Verma was at 0.
The teenager was completely unfazed of the occasion as she hit Selman for back to back boundaries whereas the experienced Matthews struggled to rotate the strike. She was ultimately bowled by Deepti Sharma for 5 runs. Verma continued her aggressive batting as she hit two boundaries of Gayakwad’s first over. She went one step ahead in Gayakwad’s second over as she hit her for a boundary followed by first six of the inning.
Danni Wyatt came to the crease at the fall of first wicket and quickly started dispatching bad deliveries to the boundary. Verma’s entertaining knock of 34 off 31 deliveries came to an end as she top edged Deol’s first delivery of the spell and Gayakwad took an easy catch at point.
Experienced skipper Raj joined Wyatt at 63-2 and let Wyatt launch an offensive. Wyatt hit a four and a six in Taylor’s next over whereas Raj too chipped in with a boundary. Wyatt gave the same treatment to Deol quickly raced to 46. She fell to Gayakwad while trying to hit the boundary to wrap up the game and was caught at mid-off by Sharma.
Still 2 runs to win, nobody had dreamt the drama that preceded. Krishnamurthy was run out on the very next delivery. At the end of 17 overs Velocity needed only 2 runs and had 6 wickets in hand. Next over was full of drama as Velocity lost Raj on the first delivery, Pandey on the third delivery and Kerr on the 5th delivery. All the batters were out trying to score the winning runs. Sushree steered the ball past third man to clinch the winning runs for Velocity.
Deepti Sharma took 4-14 for Trailblazers.
Danni Wyatt was awarded player of the match.
Trailblazers 112-6 (Deol 43, Bates 26, Bisht 2-13, Kerr 2-21)
Velocity 113-7 in 18 oves (Wyatt 46, Shafali Verma 34, Sharma 4-14)
Velocity win by 3 wickets
In the next match, Velocity will take on Supernovas on 9th May at the same venue.