Velocity nearly made heavy weather of chasing a small target, but two fine knocks under great pressure helped the team turn the table on defending champion Supernovas. Needing 127 in the opening match of the Women’s T20 Challenge, Velocity got home with five wickets and a ball to spare at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday night.
Wicketkeeper Sushma Verma (34, 33b, 2×6) and all-rounder Sune Luus (37 not out, 21b, 4×4, 1×6) batted with admirable composure as they added 51 for the fifth wicket. After Sushma fell in the penultimate over, nine were still required from the last over, but Luus took her team past the finish line.
This was after Velocity’s chase got off to a poor start, losing the wicket of Danielle Wyatt off the fifth ball, with wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia taking an excellent catch, standing up to seamer Ayabonga Khaka.
In her next over, the South African sent back the dangerous Shafali Verma, who hit her straight to Shakera Selman at deep mid-wicket.
The dismissals of captain Mithali Raj (7) and Veda Krishnamurthy (29, 28b, 4×4) saw Velocity sliding to 65 for four. Then, Luus joined Sushma and they took 14 off Poonam Yadav in the 16th over. The momentum had begun to shift.
Earlier, disciplined bowling by Velocity, backed up by excellent fielding, choked Supernovas. If that wasn’t enough, the batters came up with some loose shots too.
Opener Chamari Athapaththu (44, 39b, 2×4,2×6) and captain Harmanpreet Kaur (31, 27b, 1×4, 2×6) were among those guilty of soft dismissals. They put on 47 for the third wicket, but Supernovas lost six wickets, including that of Athapaththu, while adding 37 in the last seven overs.
Mithali’s decision to field first was justified by her bowlers. Left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht took three wickets, including two off the final two balls of the innings. Seamer Jahanara Alam and off-spinner Leigh Kasperek scalped two each.
Later on in the night, Luus and Sushma ensured that their efforts were not wasted.