Women’s T20 Challenge: Supernovas crowned champions

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Supernovas players celebrate after winning the Women’s T20 Challenge final against Velocity. (TOI Photo)

JAIPUR, May 12: Fortune favours the brave. Playing fearless game yet again, the Supernovas knocked the Velocity down by four wickets to lay their hands on the coveted Women’s T20 Challenge trophy at the SMS Stadium here on Saturday.
Aggression has been the hallmark of Harmanpreet Kaur-led Supernovas that stymied every threat Mithali Raj’s outfit posed. After the bowlers’ good show, doing the star turn for the winners was the captain herself who struck a valiant knock of 51 off 37 balls that included 4 fours and 3 sixes. She hardly put a foot wrong in putting the team in a commanding position after wickets fell in clumps.
The second ball of the last over saw Harmanpreet being snaffled by leg-spinner Amelia Kerr. This sudden twist saw the responsibility of scoring seven runs from five balls shifting on Radha Yadav’s shoulders. The new batter on the crease kept her nerves in check and dealt in twos in the three balls that followed before hitting a four on the last ball of the cliffhanger that had everyone on the edge of their seats.
Youngsters Priya Punia and Jemimah Rodrigues gave the Supernovas a good start, but after the latter was sent packing by Kerr, wickets fell in quick succession.
It was heartening to see the cricketers plying their trade in front of around 20,000 fans present at the stadium, the organisers confirmed.
Earlier, Supernovas won the toss and chose to bowl first. Velocity developed cold feet when they came out to bat. With innings wobbling at 5 for 37, Sushma Verma (40* off 32) and Amelia Kerr (36 off 38) put up a fight and pulled Velocity out of the abyss. The duo played smart and aggressive cricket and stitched a life-imbuing partnership of 71 runs that helped the Mithali Raj led team put up a respectable target of 122 runs.
Even before Velocity could gauge the conditions, they were ambushed by the exploding Supernovas bowlers.
An out-swinger bowled by Lea Tahuhu found an edge and opener Hayley Matthews was back in the shed in the very first over. This opened the floodgates and two more wickets fell in the following two overs.
Velocity’s most promising and dominant players Danielle Wyatt (0 off 5) and Shafali Verma (1 off 6) became victims of Anuja Patil’s spin and Tahuhu’s swing respectively. In all, 24 dots were bowled in the powerplay.
The harum-scarum continued. Mithali (12 off 22) and Veda Krishnamurthy (8 off 9) failed too. Plotting their end were medium-pacers Natalie Sciver and Sophie Devine. The dismissal of both the batters had everything to do with they being adventurous at the time when Velocity needed someone to hold the innings together. (TNN)