Women's T20 Challenge: Work on fitness during lockdown helped, says Ekta Bisht

The left-arm spinner says her work on her bowling skills and fitness during lockdown helped her execute her bowling plans well for Velocity.

Ekta Bisht (centre) celebrates after the dismissal of Shakera Selman on Wednesday. Bisht ended up with three wickets. - BCCI/IPL

Left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht said her work on her bowling skills and fitness during the coronavirus-induced break helped her execute her bowling plans on Wednesday. Ekta took three wickets for 22 runs to help Velocity defeat Supernovas in a Women’s T20 Challenge contest.

“In the lockdown, I stayed back in Almorah and worked on my bowling weakness with my coach. I also worked on fitness and it really helped. We had a long gap after a hectic season so it was good to be back,” she said during a press conference after her team’s five-wicket win.

“Every match is important. After a long time we are back in action, so it was important to get back confidence and momentum. It all went according to the plan.”

The Supernovas were going strong at 89 for two in 13 overs with Chamara Atapattu (44) and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (31) in total control. But slow medium pacer Jahanara Alam dismissed both batters before the spin duo of Ekta and Leigh Kasperek (2 for 23) ensured that Supernovas could manage only 10 runs off the last three overs.

'Went according to plan'

“We have been here for over a week quarantining. We were following the IPL matches closely and prepared according to the slow nature of the wickets. It all went according to our plan,” Ekta said.

Chasing the modest target, Velocity was in a spot of bother at 65 for 4 and needed 50 runs off the last five overs. But Sushma Verma (34 from 33 balls) and Sune Luus (37 not out from 21 balls) sealed a thrilling chase.

“We wanted to take the match close and take it to the last over. They really did well, all credit to Sushma and Luus,” Ekta said.

Supernovas top-scorer Chamara Atapattu said her team was eyeing a target of around 150 but lost its way. “We were looking to set a target of 140-150. But unfortunately I got out and then we lost a couple of wickets. We have to learn from our mistakes and return stronger,” she said.

Velocity will next play Trailblazers on Thursday, while Supernovas will face Trailblazers on Saturday.