Supernovas won both the editions of the Women’s T20 Challenge, but it has to defeat Trailblazers on Saturday if it wants to remain in the third spot.
Having lost a thriller to Velocity in its first match, the champion needs to get its act together at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the last match of the league stage.
Trailblazers is almost guaranteed a place in the final, regardless of the result thanks to the superior net run-rate. All it needs to do is avoid a massive defeat.
Supernovas however, has to win. If it does, all the three sides will finish with two points each – like they did last year – and the net run-rate will decide the finalists.
Harmanpreet Kaur’s women have to bat better than they did against Velocity in the opening match. Chamari Atapattu and the captain had batted well and they will have to keep the momentum going. The team will also be looking at Jemimah Rodrigues and Priya Punia.
The spinning Yadavs, Poonam and Radha, and overseas seamers Ayabonga Khaka and Shakera Selman form a good attack, but it is up against a quality batting line-up headed by the Trailblazers captain Smriti Mandhana, who will be desperate to play a substantial knock after getting out early against Velocity. Her opening partner Deandra Dottin had led the chase of the small target in that match and had looked in good touch. The win was set up by the bowlers, among whom left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone had stood out, picking up four wickets. Seamer Jhulan Goswami and spinners Rajeshwary Gayakwad too were impressive.
Supernovas has indeed a difficult job on its hands.
Supernovas: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Jemimah Rodrigues, Chamari Atapattu (SL), Priya Punia, Anuja Patil, Radha Yadav, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Shashikala Siriwardene (SL), Poonam Yadav, Shakera Selman (WI), Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastrakar, Ayushi Soni, Ayabonga Khaka (SA) and Muskan Malik.
Trailblazers: Smriti Mandhana (captain), Deepti Sharma, Punam Raut, Richa Ghosh, D. Hemalatha, Nuzhat Parween (wicket-keeper), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Harleen Deol, Jhulan Goswami, Simran Dil Bahadur, Salma Khatun (Ban), Sophie Ecclestone (Eng), Natthakan Chantham (Tln), Deandra Dottin (WI) and Kashvee Gautam.