Women's T20 Challenge: Velocity braces up for Trailblazer test

A place in the final is up for grabs for Velocity as it takes on Trailblazers in Sharjah on Thursday.

Velocity will be keen to make it to the final by winning two in a row. - BCCI/IPL

It isn't often that a team gets to clinch a place in the final within the first two days of the competition. Velocity finds itself in that situation as it takes on Trailblazers in the second match of the Women’s T20 Challenge at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

After beating Supernovas, the champion in both the previous editions of the tournament, Mithali Raj’s women could advance to the final if they beat the Smriti Mandhana-led side. Even if they don’t collect the win, they can make it to the final provided they maintain a healthy enough net run-rate.

 

REPORT | Five-wicket win for Velocity

They would, of course, prefer to do it with another victory. After chasing down the small total set by Supernovas despite a poor start and a middle-order collapse, they should be in a confident frame of mind.

South African all-rounder Sune Luus and wicket-keeper Sushma Verma turned the match around on Wednesday night with their brilliant batting. But they won't mind more contributions from the top-order, which includes Danielle Wyatt, Shafali Verma and Mithali, in today’s contest.

 

The bowlers did exceedingly well. Spinners Leigh Kasperek and Ekta Bisht and seamer Jahanara Alam were impressive.

Trailblazers, too, boasts an excellent attack in the form of Sophie Ecclestone, Jhulan Goswami,  Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Deepti Sharma and Salma Khatun. The batting revolves around Smriti and Deandra Dottin at the top of the order. It would also be interesting to see how Natthakan Chantham, the first star to emerge from Thailand, and the promising Richa Ghosh fare with the bat.

The squads

Velocity: Mithali Raj (c), Veda Krishnamurthy, Shafali Verma, Sushma Verma (wk), Sune Luus, Ekta Bisht, Mansi Joshi, Shikha Pandey, Jahanara Alam, Devika Vaidya, Sushree Dibyadarshini, Manali Dakshini, Leigh Kasperek, Danielle Wyatt and M. Anagha.

Trailblazers: Smriti Mandhana (c), Deepti Sharma, Punam Raut, Richa Ghosh, D. Hemalatha, Nuzhat Parween (wk), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Harleen Deol, Jhulan Goswami, Simran Dil Bahadur, Salma Khatun, Sophie Ecclestone, Natthakan Chantham, Deandra Dottin and Kashvee Gautam.

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