Harmanpreet Kaur’s Supernovas stamped their authority in the Women’s T20 Challenge. They Supernovas clinched the thriller of a final against Velocity by four runs against the Deepti Sharma-led Velocity in the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium. This is now their third title in four seasons.
The contest, which seemed one-sided for most of Velocity’s innings, was lit up by an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 44, in 19 balls, between Laura Wolvaardt (65* in 40 balls) and Simran Bahadur (20* in 10).
The Supernovas’ win was set up courtesy of a superb all-round show from Deandra Dottin. She top-scored for the side with a 44-ball 62, and finished with match-defining figures of 4-0-28-2. These included the first Velocity wicket, of Shafali Varma (15 in 8 balls), who was threatening to run away with the game.
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Supernovas 165/7 in 20 overs
Sent in to bat, the Supernovas had a strong start from their openers, Dottin and Priya Punia (28 off 29). They scored 31 in the first five overs, striking only one four. Sneh Rana dropped Dottin in this phase. To worsen Rana’s experience, Dottin smacked consecutive sixes in the sixth over when Rana came on to bowl in the sixth over. The openers added 71 off 57 balls.
Dottin also received support from captain Kaur (43 off 29) as they added 58 off 33 balls for the second wicket. Kaur struck three sixes during her stay. Losing a flurry of wickets towards the end, they managed only 19 off the last three overs, losing four wickets. Sharma, Kate Cross and Bahadur picked up two wickets each.
Velocity 161/8 in 20 overs
Varma’s quick start saw Velocity race to 29 in two overs. After that, things took a drastic turn. Dottin dismissed Varma in the third over, and Sophie Ecclestone claimed Yastika Bhatia in the fourth. Kiran Navgire, who had lit up Pune against the Trailblazers earlier this week, was cleaned up by Ecclestone for a 13-ball duck. The slide continued for Velocity. At the end of the 11th over, they lost half their side with only 64 on the board, with Alana King claiming Sharma.
While Wolvaardt held one end, Rana (15 in 15 balls) and Cross (13 in 7) threatened for a while. With 48 required in three overs, Wolvaardt attacked King with two sixes. The penultimate over from Pooja Vastrakar went for 17 runs, with Bahadur striking a hat-trick of fours.
Velocity required 17 off the final over, and Wolvaardt hit the first ball, from Ecclestone, for a six. But Ecclestone, the top-ranked bowler in the world, varied her lengths and cramped both batters for room to get Supernovas back into the contest. With six required from the last ball, Bahadur mistimed a full toss that sent her bat flying.
The thrilling final has managed to raise the decibels among fans for a quick start of women’s IPL.
Supernovas 165/7 in 20 overs (Deandra Dottin 62; Deepti Sharma 2-20) beat Velocity 161/8 in 20 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 65*; Alana King 3-32) by 4 runs. Player of the Match: Deandra Dottin.
Supernovas won the Women’s T20 Challenge. Player of the Tournament: Deandra Dottin.