Trailblazers started the Women's T20 Challenge emphatically as they pummelled Velocity by nine wickets in the second league match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
Electing to bat first in the afternoon game, Mithali Raj stated the need for the batting unit to spend some time in the middle and put up a decent total in the first innings.
Velocity have one of the most explosive opening combinations with the bat in Shafali Verma and Danielle Wyatt. They have the ability to take the attack to the opposition and score some quick runs in the first six overs.
With the surface in Sharjah being slow and low combined with a disciplined bowling display, they struggled with their timing early on in the innings.
Eventually, the top order crumbled under the pressure exerted by the opening bowling combination of Jhulan Goswami and Sophie Ecclestone. The duo wrecked the batting line-up by picking up five wickets for 22 runs in the powerplay.
Ecclestone, number one bowler in the shortest format of the game, was rewarded for consistently pitching the ball in the right areas and hitting the stumps. On a fresh surface, the new ball hardly offered any turn and most of the batters for Velocity were guilty of either playing across the line or missing the straight balls.
The batting order is heavily reliant on Mithali Raj and her dismissal early on in the innings created a bit of panic around. None of the batters for Velocity applied themselves and with wickets tumbling at regular intervals, they were finally bundled out for 47 runs.
For Trailblazers, Ecclestone was the pick of the bowlers scalping four wickets for nine runs.
Interestingly, this total is the lowest in the history of the IPL beating the previous record of 49 runs by Royal Challengers Bangalore against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Unfortunately for them, this performance has clearly dented their Net Run Rate. If the Supernovas register a win against the Trailblazers, it will be extremely difficult for Velocity to make it through to the summit clash.
Chasing 48 runs to win, the batting combination of Smriti Mandhana and Deandra Dottin started steadily before the southpaw chipped one to mid-on off Leigh Kasperk early on in her innings.
Richa Ghosh, who was the first player in the world to play as a concussion substitute in the shortest format of the game, walked in at number three.
The 17-year-old along with Dottin finished off the game inside eight overs to register a massive victory for the Trailblazers.
Women's IPL 2020, Velocity vs Trailblazers: Who was the player of the match today?
Sophie Ecclestone was the pick of the bowlers for the England team in the recently-concluded Women's T20 World Cup with eight wickets in four matches at an economy rate of under 3.5 runs for over.
The 21-year-old started the Women's T20 Challenge with a bang as she picked up crucial wickets early on in the innings including the important scalps of the captain and the vice-captain of Velocity. That helped set up an easy run chase for the team.
With Mithali Raj and Veda Krishnamurthy departing off successive deliveries, it was always going to be tough for Velocity to bounce back from the early setbacks.
The tall left-arm spinner picked up four wickets for nine runs including a double-wicket maiden and was deservingly the Player of the Match.Published 05 Nov 2020, 18:05 IST