Defending champions Supernovas clinched their second Women’s T20 Challenge title after they defeated Velocity by four wickets in the Final of the 2019 edition of the competition. At the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Saturday evening, the Supernovas restricted Velocity to 121-6 and then chased down the runs, getting over the line off the last ball of the match.
The Supernovas lost opener ChamariAthapaththu early in their chase but recovered through a 44-run partnership between Priya Punia (29 from 31 balls) and Jemimah Rodrigues (22 from 25 balls). But around the half-way mark in the innings, the Supernovas lost their way a little when they lost four wickets for eleven runs to slip to 64 for 5; both the set batters were dismissed, and the two international all-rounders Natalie Sciver and Sophie Devine were dismissed for single-digit scores.
It was at this stage that the Supernovas captain Harmanpreet Kaur took the chase by the scruff of the neck. She was 4 from 10 balls at the start of the fifteenth over, but raced to a half-century at the start of the nineteenth over. She revealed her aggressive intent in the fifteenth over when she collected a boundary and a six off Ekta Bisht.In the sixteenth, she collected two boundaries off JahanaraAlam, and added one more boundary to her tally in the following over - this time off Amelia Kerr. The over that brought the equation in favour of the Supernovas was the eighteenth, bowled by Devika Vaidya; Harmanpreet hit two massive sixes – the first one over long-off and the second one over cow-corner.
She brought up her half-century in the nineteenth over – getting there in 34 balls, butwas dismissed off the second ball of the final over when the Supernovas still needed 7 from the last four balls. Radha Yadav and Lea Tahuhu scampered for three consecutive twos, before the former drilled one through cover off the final ball to take her team to a win.
How good was Harmanpreet’s knock? She scored 47 of the 51 runs added to the Supernovas total from the start of the fifteenth over until the time she was dismissed. Her 51 was the only half-century of the match, and the three sixes she hit were the most any batter had hit in the match.
For Velocity, JahanaraAlam and Amelia Kerr collected two wickets each; Jahanara castled Sciver and Devine, while Kerr accounted for the two big wickets of Rodrigues and Harmanpreet.
Earlier in the evening, Velocity, put in to bat, got off to a poor start when opener Hayley Matthews edged Lea Tahuhu to the wicket-keeper off the second ball of the match. Things went from bad to worse as Velocity lost their top five within the eighth over; they slipped to 37-5 when captain Mithali Raj holed out to mid-on.
Wicket-keeper Sushma Verma and 18-year old Amelia Kerr stitched together a 71-run partnership for the sixth wicket to take Velocity to a respectable 121-6. Kerr struck four boundaries in her 36-ball 38, while Verma struck three fours and a six in her unbeaten 40 (32 balls).
Velocity were 53 for 5 after eleven overs, and added 68 runs in the last nine overs to finish at 121; the innings contained 13 boundaries and one six.
For the Supernovas, Lea Tahuhu got the ball to shape away early on and dismissed the openers; she bowled 15 dot balls and finished with figures of 4-1-21-2. Off-spinner Anuja Patil, who shared the new ball, had the in-form Danielle Wyatt stumped for a duck. Sophie Devine, Natalie Sciver and Poonam Yadav chipped in with a wicket each; Devine bowled 14 dot balls in her four-over spell.
Supernovas: 125-6 (Priya Punia 29, Harmanpreet Kaur 51, JahanaraAlam 2-21, Amelia Kerr 2-29) defeated Velocity: 121-6 (Sushma Verma 40*, Amelia Kerr 36, Lea Tahuhu 2-21) by 4 wickets
Player of the Match
Harmanpreet Kaur, for her 37-ball 51.
Player of the Series