After having lost five wickets without a single run, Velocity registered a three-wicket win over the Trailblazers in the second game of Women’s T20 Challenge at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Velocity won the toss and chose to field first. Trailblazers were hoping for a big total as well as a steady start from their in-form captain Smriti Mandhana. However, Velocity captain Mithali Raj’s decision of choosing field first became beneficial. Though Mandhana welcomed Shikha Pandey with two consecutive boundaries in the very first over, Pandey was successful to remove Mandhana in her second over.
Mandhana was trying to get runs through the vacant slip cordon but ended up getting a massive edge. Wicket-keeper Sushma Verma jumped to her left and took a stunning catch; which sent Mandhana in the dugout for 10. Then, Harleen Deol and Suzie Bates tried to steady the ship where Bates took the charge. They took the team to 34 within the powerplay.
The seventh over was seen a massive six from Bates over mid-wicket off Hayley Matthews. They reached the 50-run mark within 8 overs. To break the partnership, Mithali Raj handed over the ball to her most experienced bowler Ekta Bisht. She didn’t let down her captain. She tempted Bates for a big shot and Bates hit towards long-on. But it failed to clear the rope and Veda Krishnamurthy took the easy catch and Bates fell for 26 off 22.
Her dismissal brought Stafanie Taylor at the crease but her struggle for runs continued and after scoring mere 5 off 14 balls Sushree Dibyadarshini removed her by an easy return catch in the 14th over. Deepti Sharma also struggled to rotate the strike. However, Amelia Kerr dismissed both Sharma and Deol in two consecutive deliveries for 16 and 43 respectively.
However, Shakeera Selman’s 8 off 7 in the final over helped them to put up 112 on board. Ekta Bisht and Amelia Kerr bagged2 wickets while Shikha Pandey and Sushree Pradhan took 1 each for Velocity.
Chasing a mere total, Velocity didn’t get a great start as the opener Hayley Matthews was seen struggling to score and finally departed for 5 off Deepti Sharma. However, the other opener, 15-year-old kid Shafali Verma took the charge from the beginning. She smashed two back-to-back boundaries off Shakeera Selman in the third over and took on Rajeshwari Gayakwad in the 6th. She hit two boundaries and showed everyone what she can do.
After that, Danielle Wyatt also joined the league. She hit Sharma for a boundary over cover while Verma again smashed a boundary and a six off Gayakwad and reached 63 after 9 overs. However, Deol became the saviour for the Trailblazers as she was successful to remove in-form Verma in her first delivery for 34 off 31, including 5 boundaries and a six.
After her dismissal, Wyatt took the charge with Mithali Raj at anchor’s position. Wyatt took on Stafanie Taylor in the 11th over where she smashed a maximum and a boundary while Mithali Raj also took a boundary by sweeping through the square. Wyatt again hit a six and a four off Harleen Deol in the 14th over which took them to 102.
Mithali got another life in the 17th over off Gayakwad while she was successful to dismiss Wyatt for 46. Having tried to hit over the fielder, she ended up giving the catch to Deepti Sharma at mid-off. Velocity needed 2 more runs at that time to win and the job was more than easy when you had 7 wickets in hand.
But the drama which unfolded after that was extraordinary. Veda Krishnamurthy was run out on a duck in the next ball. They were needed 2 runs only with 6 wickets in hand and the job was still easy for them. But Deepti Sharma had some other plans.
She first dismissed Mithali Raj, who missed the line and got bowled for 17. Shikha came to the crease and bowled for a two-ball duck and then Amelia Kerr as well. And, with utter surprise, Velocity became 111/7 from 111/3. Deepti Sharma ended up her spell with a 4-wicket haul (4-0-14-4). However, Sushree Dibyadarshini hit the ball towards the third man and completed that 2 winning runs for her team.
Velocity will now play against Harmanpreet Kaur-led Supernovas on Thursday, May 9 at the same ground.