Sune Luus’ unbeaten 37 and Sushma Verma’s 34 guided Velocity to a thrilling five-wicket victory over Supernovas in the opening match of the Women’s T20 Challenge 2020, in Sharjah on Wednesday (November 4).
After being put into bat, Supernovas, the defending champions, got off to a sedate start before losing opener Priya Punia (11) in the final over of the Powerplay. Velocity’s bowlers continued to keep things tight and Jemimah Rodrigues (7) fell trying to up the ante.
Supernovas skipper Harmanpreet Kaur then joined Chamari Atapattu at the crease, and they changed the momentum of the innings. Both the players struck a few boundaries and put their team on track for a big score.
Just when it looked like the star duo would take the game away from Velocity, Mithali Raj’s side bounced back. Atapattu (44) and Kaur (31) were back in the pavilion in the space of four overs as Velocity restricted Supernovas to 126/8 in their allotted 20 overs.
In response, Velocity were off to a poor start as they lost openers Danielle Wyatt (0) and Shafali Verma (17) inside the first three overs.
Veda Krishnamurthy and Raj did try to resurrect the innings, but Velocity were behind the required Net Run Rate (NRR). Krishnamurthy (29) kept taking the odd chance and found the boundary, while Raj struggled to get going. The latter fell for seven off 19 balls.
When both of them were dismissed, the score read 65/4 from 13 overs and the required rate had climbed up to 9.14. Luus’ entry shifted the momentum as she dealt in boundaries and also ran hard between the wickets. Her energy rubbed off on Sushma Verma, who had started off slowly but soon found her rhythm.
The duo kept up with the asking rate and even though Verma fell in the penultimate over, Luus stayed calm and wrapped up the chase with a ball to spare.
“It was a difficult task. The other team bowled very well, but Veda and Sushma batted really well, rotated the strike and hit boundaries too,” said Luus, who was named the Player of the Match for her unbeaten knock which included four fours and a maximum.
“I didn’t find the surface that difficult, and it was coming on quite nicely. I think it played nicely throughout the innings, so I think it depends on your style of batting whether the conditions suit you or not. We’re very grateful to the BCCI and the ICC, for organizing a tournament like this, especially in these crazy times.”
Velocity will now face Trailblazers at the same venue on Thursday (November 5). Supernovas, on the other hand, will take on Trailblazers on Saturday (November 7).
Brief Scores: Velocity (Luus 37* Verma 34, Khaka 2-27) beat Supernovas 126 for 8 (Atapattu 44, Kaur 31, Bisht 3-22) by five wickets.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@ICC