Supernovas overcome late scare to claim third Women’s T20 Challenge title |

Supernovas kept their cool in the final to secure victory

A superb partnership between Laura Wolvaardt and Simran Bahadur for the ninth wicket brought Velocity within touching distance of the title despite falling to 117/8 on 17th in a 166 chase. Help Supernovas lift the Women’s T20 Challenge trophy for the third time in four editions.

Invited to bat, the Supernovas went 165/7 thanks to Deandra Dottin’s 44-ball 62 and Harmanpreet Kaur’s 43-of-29. and Simran’s 20 out of 10 steps were wasted in the final at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Saturday 28 May.

Regular box office hampers Velocity’s pursuit

Shafali Verma and Yastika Bhatia gave Velocity a strong start in the chase, scoring five fours between them in the first two overs. However, Shafali was cramped as she tried to cut Dottin in the third and had to go for an 8-ball 15. Bhatia marks a boundary off Ecclestone and hands a catch to the bowler shortly after. Chantham missed her fifth delivery as the pressure of not scoring hit Navgire as she was knocked down by Ecclestone for a 13-ball duck. After a few calm overs, Wolvaardt eased the pressure a bit by scoring two limits on Vastrakar in the ninth over. But Chantham was out Lbw in the same over and by the time the 11th was completed Velocity had lost half their team with their captain Deepti also returning to the hut in King’s opening over.

Velocity went limitless for 22 deliveries before Rana played a sweep against King for a four on the 13th. But Velocity was still playing catch-up, with up to 91 required over the final seven overs. Wolvaardt and Rana tried to keep up the pace, scoring much-needed boundaries, including a six from the South African against King that helped the Supernovas go past 100 in the 16th. But King pocketed the wickets from Rana and Radha in the same innings while Dottin collected his second by dismissing Cross after being hit for two fours, to further reduce Velocity’s chances.

How did he arrive at 17 out of 6?

Wolvaardt and Simran hit a six apiece against King in the 18th over, bringing the equation to 34 over the final two overs. Vastrakar, who threw the penultimate, was guilty of throwing full deliveries with half-stepping and half-running inside the circle. Wolvaardt started the over by powering a past halfway for a four before taking a single. Vastrakar tried to throw the yorker but kept missing the length as Simran threw two fours halfway before picking up a length ball on a short fine for another four. The final ball was a run, but it was a marginal decision as the umpire could have signaled it wide.

What happened in the final?

Ecclestone, the No.1 ranked T20I and ODI bowler, was swept by a six by Wolvaardt, who then won a single. With 10 needed from 4, Simran could only manage a leg-bye while Wolvaardt attempted to slog-sweep gave him just a few on the fourth delivery. Ecclestone fired the next length from a yorker and Wolvaardt could only manage a single, leaving Simran to handle the final ball with six needed. She came out and converted it to a full pitch, but her swing across the line was mistimed and she also lost the bat, as the Supernovas won in a thrilling finish.

Dottin rides his luck in a stable position

Kate Cross and Deepti Sharma stayed the course through the first two overs, leaving no room for the Supernovas’ opening hitters to free their arms. It wasn’t until the third over when Cross threw one wide and one long that Puniya hit for a six to the covers. Deandra Dottin ended the run with another full delivery through the midwicket for a four. Dottin had a lucky break in the fourth over as Sneh Rana put in a mere chance at midwicket and a referee’s call further extended the Windies batter’s stay after she was hit on the pads by Ayabonga Khaka. Dottin cashed in soon after, hitting two back-to-back sixes against Rana in the power-play finale.

Dottin and Puniya spoke of their half-century second position in this edition, with the former getting another reprieve when Simran caught up with his own bowling. Dottin managed to just about eliminate Kiran Navgire when she played a pickup shot against Khaka in the ninth. She continued to ride her luck as Natthakan Chantham took a hard chance to dive the full length at the point of 10th over. Puniya hit a six in the same on Simran before Wolvaardt juggled and held back a strike to dismiss the Indian batter for 28, ending a 73-run stand.

The Harmanpreet-Dottin Association

The six continued as Dotting scored one over Radha Yadav’s midwicket on his first pass while Harmanpreet passed the cow corner wide of Rana, with Velocity crossing 100 on the 12th. The Supernovas skipper also hit two sixes and fours on successive deliveries from Radha, scoring the bulk of the runs in a quick 58-run stand for the second wicket. Despite Dottin’s exit to Deepti being beaten by the Velocity captain, the Supernovas were well positioned to finish around 180, having reached 131/2 by the end of the 15th.

Why then did the supernovas end up with 165?

Due to a collective bowling effort that has rocked the opposition with regular strikes. Khaka rolled Vastrakar with a slower delivery in the 17th after Cross played quiet earlier. The English stimulator also struck twice in the 18th, winning the important wicket of Harmanpreet (taken from a distance) and Ecclestone (taken late). She finished with 2 for 29 from her four overs while Deepti, who gave up just five and also picked up the wicket from Sune Luus, had 2 for 20 from her four over spell. King scored a six against Simran in the final, with 10 in addition to Harleen Deol’s wicket.

Brief notes: Supernovas 165/7 in 20 overs (Deandra Dottin 62, Harmanpreet Kaur 43; Deepti Sharma 2-20, Kate Cross 2-29) beat Velocity 161/8 in 20 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 65*, Simran Bahadur 20*; Alana King 3-32, Sophie Ecclestone 2-28, Deandra Dottin 2-28) by 4 points.

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