Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's blistering half-century (51 off 37) helped Supernovas win the inaugural season of the Women's T20 Challenge 2019 as they defeated Velocity by four wickets at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Saturday.
Chasing the 122-run target, Supernovas were hobbling midway as they were reduced to 64/5. But Harmanpreet not only anchored the innings but also clobbered most Velocity bowlers.
Supernovas were off to a poor start as they lost opener Chamari Athapaththu (2). She fell short off the crease while converting a couple in the second over.
Priya Punia (29 off 21) and Jemimah Rodrigues (22 off 25) then repaired the early damage, adding 44 runs for the second wicket as Supernovas crossed the 50-run mark in 9.3 overs. With everything going Supernovas' way, Amelia Kerr came with a much-needed breakthrough for Velocity and cut short Rodrigues's stay in the middle in the 10th over.
Supernovas then witnessed a middle-order collapse. They lost Punia, Natalie Sciver (2 off 6) and Sophie Devine within the next 11 runs. But Harmanpreet rose to the occasion, took the command and denied her opponents making any further inroads.
Harmanpreet forged a crucial 51-run partnership with Radha Yadav (10 not out off 4), setting the platform for the victory. The duo were on their way to steer Supernovas home comfortably, but Amelia struck in the 19th over to send back a well-settled Harmanpreet, leaving opponents seven runs away with four balls remaining.
After few singles, Radha smashed a last-ball four to seal a four-wicket win for the Supernovas.
For Velocity, Jahanara Alam and Amelia Kerr scalped two wickets each.
Earlier, some disciplined bowling by Supernovas restricted Velocity to 121/6 even as Sushma Verma (40 unbeaten) and Amelia (36 off 38) made valuable contributions.
Lea Tahuhu picked two wickets for Supernovas, conceding 21 runs from her 4 overs, while Anuja Patil, Sophie Devine, Sciver and Poonam bagged one wicket each.
Asked to bat first, Velocity were off to a poor start as Tahuhu struck in the very second delivery of the match to dismiss opener Hayley Matthews for a duck.
Anuja then jolted Velocity as she sent back incoming batswoman Danielle Wyatt (0) in the next over. Things worsened for Velocity as Tahuhu struck again to send back opener Shafali Verma (11), leaving the side reeling at 14/3.
Mithali Raj (12) and Veda Krishnamurthy (8) then tried to stabilise the ship, adding 23 runs for the fourth wicket before Devine also joined the Supernovas party by claiming the wicket of Krishnamurthy. Sciver then claimed the wicket of Mithali, putting Velocity in deep trouble as the scorecard read 37/5 in 7.3 overs.
Sushma and Amelia then anchored the Velocity innings and added 71 runs in the next 10.5 overs to take their side past the three-digit mark in 17 overs. Amelia became a victim of Poonam in the 18th over and Sushma then added 13 runs in the remaining deliveries to help Velocity reach a fighting total.