Trailblazers 49 for 1 (Dottin 29*, Kasperek 1-5) beat Velocity 47 (Ecclestone 4-9, Goswami 2-13, Gayakwad 2-13) by nine wickets
Less than 24 hours after beating Supernovas in the opening match of the 2020 Women's T20 Challenge, Velocity collapsed dramatically to be bowled out for 47 in the second game, against Trailblazers. In response, Trailblazers chased it down in the eighth over to collect two points in their first game of the tournament.
Trailblazers bowling performance was led by England left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone, who is also the world's No. 1 T20I bowler, taking 4 for 9 in 3.1 overs. Fast bowler Jhulan Goswami and left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad finished with 2 for 13 each while Deepti Sharma's offbreak earned her one wicket for just eight runs from her four overs.
Velocity, who now have a negative net run rate, will await the result of the final league game between Trailblazers and Supernovas to see if they qualify into the final. They would hope Supernovas lose to Trailblazers, but if they win, the finalists will be decided on net run rate.
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The legend trumps the prodigy
Shafali Verma and Danny Wyatt opened the batting for Velocity after their captain Mithali Raj chose to bat, but the Indian teenager was out in the third over trying to play a late cut off Goswami. The experienced bowler bowled a stump-to-stump line and Verma paid the price of not playing to her strength - of hitting in the V - and had to go back for 13 as her off stump was rattled.
Goswami would return for her third over in the powerplay and get Wyatt out, who failed to clear mid-off to a full ball.
Ecclestone shows her class
While Goswami got two wickets from one end, Ecclestone took three from the other in her first spell by also attacking the stumps. After the innings, Ecclestone said she wanted to keep the "stumps in play", and that was evident in the wickets she earned. Her first was Raj, who was trapped lbw for 1 in the fourth over, and Veda Krishnamurthy was bowled for a first-ball duck next delivery.
Ecclestone was given a third over in the powerplay, and the decision from Smriti Mandhana paid off when Ecclestone clattered Sushma Verma's stumps with a ball that skid in. At the end of six overs, Velocity were reeling at 22 for 5.
She would eventually return for a fourth over later in the innings, and took the last Velocity wicket too, finishing with 15 dot balls in her 19-ball spell.
Poor starts are part of the game when facing bowlers like Goswami and Ecclestone, but the Velocity were also guilty of giving wickets away. Sune Luus played Gayakwad with hard hands, and popped the ball straight back to the bowler. Sushree Pradhan swiped across the line to a straight ball only to be trapped lbw by the same bowler. Shikha Pandey was run out trying to pinch a single when there wasn't one. And Ekta Bisht, when eight wickets were down, looked to hammer Sharma for a six, only to hit it back to the bowler, who took a sharp catch.
Velocity were bowled out in the 16th over, in an innings that had only three fours and one six, with eight batters returning single-digit performances.
Dottin makes quick work of chase
Despite Mandhana's dismissal for 6 after a slow start in the fourth over of the chase, the other Trailblazers opener, Deandra Dottin batted aggressively. With No. 3 Richa Ghosh for company, she went up and over at times, and then slog-swept the spinners to crack 29 in 28 balls, with three fours. The only six in the Trailblazers innings was by the 17-year-old Ghosh, who slogged one across the line to hit the winning runs in the eighth over and finish unbeaten on 13.
Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo