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Mithali Raj – Was difficult to play less than 12 hours after first game

Velocity captain Mithali Raj said her team found it difficult to recover before their match against Trailblazers, less than 12 hours after the first Women’s T20 Challenge game on Wednesday night. Velocity were bowled out for 47 on Thursday afternoon and lost by nine-wickets against Trailblazers.

“As far as playing in the afternoon [is concerned], we haven’t even got 12 hours to recover from yesterday’s game. So clearly yes, it has been difficult for the girls to prepare themselves and come back and play the afternoon game after playing last night,” Raj said in the post-match press conference.

While the other two teams have rest days between their games, Velocity played two consecutive games in under 24 hours and had to travel between Dubai and Sharjah. They’re the only team in the tournament without days between fixtures in the league stage. They were undone by left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone, who took 4 for 9. Raj praised Ecclestone’s ability to adapt.

“That’s why she’s number one. She came up with a game plan and quickly adapted with her line and length. After Shafali hit her for six she bowled pulled her length onto the shorter side and got wickets in the powerplay.”

Jhulan Goswami took two wickets for Trailblazers and said that she merely focused on getting back to match sharpness.

“I just stuck to my basics. After a long time I was playing this format of the game, so I just wanted get back the rhythm and momentum. That was my plan.” The 37-year-old said the tournament was good for Indian cricket and that a longer version of it would benefit the youngsters in India’s growing talent pool.

“Last year, Shafali played here and was picked in the Indian team and she was so good in the World Cup,” Goswami said. “If we get more matches the youngsters get the opportunity to learn from overseas players and it will be good for Indian cricket.”

Edited PTI copy.

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