Smriti Mandhana said her team’s bowlers executed their plans perfectly as Trailblazers registered a thumping nine-wicket victory over Velocity in Sharjah.
Velocity were 17/0 in the third over when Shafali Verma fell to Jhulan Goswami after which Ecclestone took over. Till then they were looking good, but then a spate of wickets ruined everything for them.
“The bowling plans were according to the batters. I just told all the bowlers to keep it back of a length and stick to the stump line. We have a good spin attack. I was following IPL, so I thought we had a good bowling attack (with all the spinners).
Mithali Raj won the toss and decided to bat first and her decision backfired as Velocity found themselves tottering at 22/5 at the end of powerplay. Rajeshwari Gayakwad then took consecutive wickets in the ninth over to reduce the batting side to 27/7. Ecclestone finished things off by dismissing Jahanara Alam off the first ball of the 16th over.
“I was happy with Mithali’s decision (to bat) as we wanted to have a look at the wicket," Mandhana said at the post-match presentation.
In reply, Deandra Dottin scored 29 from 28, whereas Richa Sharma also remained unbeaten on 13 from 10 balls, as the Trailblazers crossed the finish line with more than 12 overs to spare. The only wicket to fall for them was of skipper Smriti Mandhana, who departed for 6.
“We were really excited. We were raring to play cricket after a break of seven months. It was a good game," Smriti added.
As far as the batting for Velocity is concerned, all the batsmen failed to put up a show. Shafali Verma top scored from them with 13, while spinner Leigh Kasperek scored 11 not out. Three players were out for nought.