Indian teenage sensation Shafali Verma made an instant impact in her debut outing for the Sydney Sixers in the Women’s Big Bash League with a brilliant effort in the field against the Melbourne Stars on Thursday.
It all happened during the fifth ball of the last over of the powerplay when opener Ellyse Villani pulled a short ball from Ellyse Perry straight to Verma at short midwicket.
Verma picked the ball cleanly had only one stump to aim at. The 17-year-old hit the bulls-eye to send the non-striker Annabel Sutherland, who was stranded in the middle of the pitch due to a miscommunication, packing.
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The dismissal came at the right time for the Sixers as the duo of Villani and Sutherland were looking extremely dangerous during their 49-run-stand.
Sutherland’s run-out was the only wicket the Sixers were able to take in a 11-over-a-side reduced fixture. Villani (54* off 31) and skipper Meg Lanning, who remained unbeaten on a 17-ball 23, took the Stars to 99/1 in 11 overs.
Shafali Verma misses out with the bat; Alyssa Healy smashes a match-winning 50
Shafali Verma may have kick-started her BBL journey with a brilliant run-out of Sutherland but it was the right-arm seamer who had the last laugh. The young seamer knocked over the swashbuckling Indian opener for a 10-ball knock of 8 runs.
It all happened on the fifth ball of the fourth over when Verma, in typical fashion, tried to slog the pacer across the line. She ended up missing the ball altogether and saw her stumps pegged back.
Nevertheless, her cheap dismissal did not have any sort of impact on the Sydney Sixers’ fortunes as they gunned down the target of 100 with four balls to spare.
It was the Alyssa Healy show at the Bellerive Oval as the champion Australian wicketkeeping-batter smashed a whirlwind 27-ball 57 to knock the stuffing out of the Stars.
Healy smoked as many as 11 fours during her knock. By the time she was dismissed by Sophie Day, she had already set her side on course to their first victory of the season. Healy was deservedly adjudged ‘Player of the Match’ for her match-winning knock.