Indian teen sensation Shafali Verma made an instant impact on her debut for the Sydney Sixers in the women’s Big Bash League with a brilliant effort on the field against the Melbourne Stars on Thursday.
It all happened during the fifth ball of the last over of the power play when starter Ellyse Villani hit a short ball from Ellyse Perry directly to Verma on the short midwicket.
Verma picked up the ball cleanly and had only one stump to aim for. The 17-year-old hit the mark to send non-forward Annabel Sutherland, who was stranded in the middle of the field due to a miscommunication, packing.
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The firing came at the right time for the Sixers, as the duo of Villani and Sutherland looked extremely dangerous during their 49-run stand.
Sutherland’s departure was the only window the Sixers could take in a reduced 11-on-one game. Villani (54 * to 31) and captain Meg Lanning, who remained undefeated in 23 of 17 balls, brought the stars to 99/1 in 11 overs.
Shafali Verma misses the bat; Alyssa Healy crushes a 50th win
Shafali Verma may have started her BBL journey with a brilliant start from Sutherland, but it was the right-arm closer who got the last laugh. The young locksmith dropped the Indian opener swashbuckling for an 8-run 10-ball hit.
It all happened on the fifth ball of the fourth round when Verma, in typical fashion, tried to get the pacemaker to cross the line. He ended up losing the ball completely and saw his stumps pinned back.
However, his cheap firing had no impact on the fate of the Sydney Sixers as they shot the 100 target with four balls to spare.
It was Alyssa Healy’s show at the Bellerive Oval when the Australian wicketkeeping champion-batsman broke a 27-ball 57-ball whirlwind to knock down the star fill.
Healy smoked as many as 11 fours during his hit. By the time Sophie Day fired her, she was already on her way to her first win of the season. Healy was deservedly awarded ‘Player of the Match’ for her winning shot.