Last year, on this day, Supernovas, under the leadership of Harmanpreet Kaur, won the Women’s T20 Challenge for the second consecutive time. Though in 2018 it was an exhibition match between two teams, in 2019 the tournament had three teams and more matches too.
Jemimah Rodrigues was sent back to the pavilion after the partnership of 44 with Priya Punia by Amelia Kerr in the last ball of the 10th over. One could see the figure of Indian skipper appearing in the middle. She had scored unbeaten 46 in the first match against Trailblazers, but lost the match by 2 runs and didn’t get much chance to bat against Velocity in the previous match while scoring 1*.
Jahanara Alam, who went for 34 runs in her 4 overs in the previous match against Supernovas, bowled two fearsome overs and picked up two crucial wickets. Natalia Sciver and Sophie Devine, two oversees all-rounders found there stumps uprooted by the Bangladeshi pacer. All of a sudden Supernovas were reduced to 64 for 5 in 14th over while losing 4 wickets in just 11 runs.
It seemed like Velocity had turned the game for their favour, but the treat remained in the form of Indian skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur. After the end of 14th over Supernovas was needed 58 with 5 wickets in hand. Harmanpreet was batting on 4 from 10 balls. It was the time when Harmanpreet decided to change the gear and managed to score 13, 13, 7, 15 from the next four overs, to again change the complexation of the game.
She danced down the track to hit sixes against Devika Vaidya, who loved to toss the ball up and stayed back in the crease for Ekta Bisht, to cut and pull the ball. Jahanara Alam, who was looking destructive was hit two boundaries, over the cover and square leg. In the last 22 balls, she gathered 45 runs with 4 fours and 3 sixes. Harmanpreet completed her half-century by taking a single through cover off the bowling of Amelia Kerr in juts 34 balls.
The match was in the grasp of the Supernovas. Or at least it seemed like so. 7 was required from the last 6 balls, and Harmanpreet was at the striker’s end. Mithali Raj gave the ball to Amelia Kerr, and within two balls she picked up the wicket of Harmanpreet Kaur. Kaur, who was batting on 51, failed to score in the first ball of the final over and went for her trademark shot over cover in the next ball, only to found the safest pair of hands of Hayley Mathews.
Radha Yadav picked up 3 couples in the next three balls, and they required 1 from the last ball. Radha Yadav hit the ball for a four through the covers to claim the victory. Earlier, Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and decided to field first. Hayley Mathews was removed by one of the fastest bowlers, Lea Tahuhu in the very first over. Velocity lost their 2nd wicket in the form of Danny Wyatt, and Shafali Verma was picked up by Tahuhu to reduce Velocity to 3 for 14.
Skipper Mithai Raj and Veda Krishnamurthy put up a fight in their partnership of 23. But Veda was stumped excellently by Tania Bhatia off the bowling of Devine and Mithali lost her wicket to Natalia Sciver. It’s only because of the resistance put forward by Kiwi sensation, Amelia Kerr, and seasoned Indian campaigner, Sushma Verma that Velocity was able to reach a total of 121.
Duo put up a partnership of 71 runs for the 6th wicket in 65 balls before Kerr was removed by Poonam Yadav. Sushma with 3 fours and a lone six, remained not out on 40 from 32 balls. Harmanpreet Kaur, for her whirlwind 51 became the player of the match, while Jemimah Rodrigues who scored 123 runs in 3 innings became the player of the tournament.
Supernovas 125/6 (Harmanpreet Kaur 51, Priya Punia 29, Jahanara Alam 2/21, Amelia Kerr 2/29) beat Velocity 121/6 (Sushma Verma 40*, Amelia Kerr 32, Lea Tahuhu 2/21) by 4 wickets.