Supernovas defeated Velocity by four runs in the Women’s T20 Challenge 2022 final to clinch their third title.
The Women’s T20 Challenge 2022 final, played at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Saturday, May 28, went right down to the final ball of the final over, with the Supernovas emerging victorious by a mere four-run margin.
At 105/7 after 16 overs, the Velocity looked down and out during their run-chase of 166, with an incredibly tough required rate of 15.25. Kate Cross (13 off 7) played a cameo, but was dismissed to Deandra Dottin in the 17th over to bring it down to 48 off 18.
That’s when Laura Wolvaardt (65* off 40) and No. 10 Simran Bahadur (20* off 10) began to unleash, with the former getting to her second fifty of the competition.
The batters hit a six each off Australia wrist-spinner Alana King in the 18th over before Bahadur struck three consecutive fours off Pooja Vastrakar in the 19th to set it up for 17 off six.
Wolvaardt struck Sophie Ecclestone for a six over deep mid-wicket off the very first ball of the final over, but the England left-arm spinner held her nerve to get it down to six required off the final ball. Bahadur mistimed a powerful swing off a full-toss, resulting in Supernovas’ thrilling four-run win.
Harmanpreet Kaur, the victorious skipper, looked back at the tense climax:
“My heartbeat was normal. I knew this game was going to be like that only and I was prepared for the game to go down to the wire. Great effort by the girls. We never felt we won the game and we knew anything could happen.”
Supernovas’ defence had begun with a 17-run over from right-arm quick Mansi Joshi against the swashbuckling Velocity pair of Shafali Verma and Yastika Bhatia, but the bowling side kept themselves in the hunt with consistency thereafter, before the final phase blitz from the opponents.
Harmanpreet looked back at the ebbs and flows, and reserved special praise for Ecclestone, who returned 2/28 from four overs. King (3/32) and Dottin (2/28) were the other notable contributors.
“First over was not in our favour but I knew if we get two early wickets, the match can turn for us. At the right moment, we were getting the wickets. When Pooja started, we planned something else, but she wasn’t able to bowl what we were thinking. It happens.
“The way Sophie bowled it was outstanding. She was quite confident. If you have a bowler who is so confident, half the job is done. I was just giving her placement and she was bowling the way she wanted to bowl.”
Earlier, the Supernovas top-order made a strong start after being put in to bat, with Dottin (62 off 44) and Priya Punia (28 off 29) adding 73 in 9.3 overs for the first wicket. Harmanpreet then unleashed her trademark powerful slog sweeps, striking three sixes and a four in a 29-ball 43.
Supernovas were placed strongly at 131/2 at the end of 15th over but some solid restrictive bowling thereafter limited them to 165/7.
Dottin was named the Player of the Final and the Player of the Tournament, having scored 100 runs while bagging four wickets in the series.
It was Supernovas third Women’s T20 Challenge triumph across four editions. They’d previously won the inaugural championship in 2018 and defended the title in 2019 before going down to the Trailblazers in the 2020 final.