Supernovas v Velocity, Women's T20 Challenge 2019 May 9, 2019

Rodrigues 77*, Velocity and Supernovas in final

The Report by Ankur Dhawan

Jemimah Rodrigues drives through the off side © BCCI

Supernovas 142 for 3 (Rodrigues 77*, Atapattu 31, Kerr 2-21) beat Velocity 130 for 3 (Wyatt 43, Raj 40*, Poonam 1-13) by 12 runs

A picture perfect 48-ball 77 not out from Jemimah Rodrigues took Supernovas to 142 for 3 and consigned Velocity to a 12-run defeat, setting up a rematch between the two sides in the final. Though all three teams finished with a win each, Trailblazers, who had come to the stadium to watch proceedings, were knocked out due to a poorer net run-rate.

Chasing 143, Velocity knew that getting to 117 would ensure that they got through along with Supernovas, even if they ended up losing this game. They briefly threatened going for the win, with Danielle Wyatt going great guns, but after Poonam Yadav ended her cameo on 43, they shut shop and crawled past the qualification target of 117 in the 19th over, with Mithali Raj finding the extra cover boundary off her counterpart Harmanpreet Kaur. Raj remained unbeaten on 40 off 42, and steered her team to safety in the company of Veda Krishnamurthy, who was unbeaten on a 29-ball 30.

The star of the match, however, was Rodrigues. She came in when opener Priya Punia fell in the fifth over and batted through to the end. She was ably supported by Chamari Atapattu, who struggled for timing and rode her luck, but hung around to forge a 55-run second wicket stand at seven runs per over. That partnership set the foundation for a respectable total, which was put beyond Velocity's reach by legspinner Poonam's middle overs squeeze.

Jemimah Rodrigues' masterclass

First ball at the crease, she leaned into it and caressed it through extra cover. You would have thought that'd be the shot of the match. But she accumulated an assortment of boundaries, each seemingly better than the last, through the course of her knock. Her second boundary, for instance, was the perfect illustration of a straight drive. At other times, particularly against spin, Rodrigues toyed with the bowling. She came down the wicket and went inside out or over the bowler's head, and when the bowlers shorted their length, she used the depth of the crease and the late cut to great effect. And even when the ball was fired into the pads, she wasn't to be tied down, as she swept, both to the short fine-leg's right and left. Finding back to back boundaries was another feature of her innings; she did that thrice, in the sixth, 14th and 15th overs.

Shoddy fielding costs Velocity

Poor fielding reared it's ugly head in Jaipur again as Velocity dropped as many as five chances, arguably costing them the match. Atapattu was the first beneficiary, put down by Wyatt diving to her right at midwicket. A sharp chance, but not impossible by any stretch. The left-hander was on four at the time but she was offered another life on 10, this time by Raj, who circled around a steepler at mid-off, before grassing it. Rodrigues was largely flawless in her strokeplay but there was a period of play when she seemed to lose her concentration. She miscued a slog sweep off Amelia Kerr, which was put down at deep square leg, and the next ball, deceived in the flight, she was coaxed out of her crease but wicketkeeper Sushma Verma failed to collect it cleanly due to the extra bounce. Rodrigues was on 52 at the time and added another 25 runs. Sophie Devine was also given a life at long-off but that didn't prove as costly.

Poonam Yadav's middle overs squeeze

When she was brought into the attack, Velocity were undoubtedly going for the win, with Wyatt finding the boundary with great regularity and Raj rotating the strike nicely. The required run-rate was under seven when she came on in the 10th over. She bowled a tight first over which went for just one. On the third ball of her second over, after a misfield brought Wyatt back on strike, she tossed one up on middle stump and went through Wyatt, who had swung way too early. Poonam conceded just 13 in her four overs, choked the scoring with 12 dot balls, and by the time she finished her spell, the required run-rate had shot up to 15.50.

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