Hobart, October 14: Young Indian batting sensation Shafali Verma endured an underwhelming Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) debut in her team Sydney Sixers' six-wicket win over Melbourne Stars on the opening day of the competition at the Bellerive Oval here on Thursday (October 14).
Chasing 100 runs to win in 11 overs in the rain-hit match, the 17-year-old right-handed opener fell for 8 (10 balls, 1 four) in the fourth over. Her first-wicket partnership with Alyssa Healy, who hit a superb 57 (27 balls, 11 fours), yielded 40 runs before Shafali was bowled by Annabel Sutherland attempting a big heave.
The Sixers appeared to be on their way to a comfortable win before losing three wickets including that of Healy. But Nicole Bolton (7 not out) and Angela Reakes (3 not out) steered them home.
Earlier, sent in to bat by Sixers captain Ellyse Perry, the Melbourne Stars rode on a quick-fire 54 not out (31 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) by Elyse Villani to make 99 for 1 in 11 overs.
Skipper Meg Lanning contributed 23 (17 balls, 4 fours). Shafali helped break the Stars' opening partnership by running out Annabel Sutherland (14). The teenager's direct hit at the non-striker's end made her debut worth remembering as she had just one stump in her sight at the mid-on region and hit the bull's eye.
She might have had a silent debut but the reputation of the Haryana girl, who is ranked second in the latest ICC T20I women's ranking for batters, forced the opposition camp to make some plans about her. Opposition captain Villani admitted that her team discussed during the team meeting about the explosive India batter ahead of the game.
Another Indian in the Sixers' line-up, left-arm spinner Radha Yadav, went wicketless in her two overs and did not get an opportunity to bat.
(With PTI inputs)