Women's T20 Challenge: Jemimah takes Supernova to final

Jemimah Rodrigues' Player of the Match-winning knock of 77 (not out) saw the Supernovas through to the final of the Women's T20 Challenge. Saturday's final will see a repeat of Thursday's fixture.

Jemimah Rodrigues

Supernovas' Jemimah played what should be one of the finest innings of her flourishing career.   -  Sportzpics

Jemimah Rodrigues is one of the rising superstars of women's cricket. A gifted batter, she is capable of taking any attack apart, relying more on timing than power.

The 18-year-old did that in considerable style at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Thursday.

Riding on her brilliant 77 not out off 48 balls, Supernovas, in a must-win game, beat Velocity by 12 runs, thereby entering the final of the Women’s T20 Challenge.

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Supernovas, Velocity and Trailblazers ended with two points each after the league phase, winning a game apiece, and they finished in that order, when the net run-rate was applied.

This means, the two teams will clash again in the final of the tournament at Jaipur.

Put in to bat, Supernovas made a competitive 142, thanks mostly to that splendid knock from Jemimah.

The target, though, wasn’t beyond the reach of Velocity, especially if someone like Danielle Wyatt got going.

Since the identity of the finalists was likely to be all about net run-rate, there was another, much less daunting, target for Velocity: 117.

So it wasn’t entirely surprising to see captain Mithali Raj (40 not out) and Veda Krishnamurthy (30 not out) trying not to take risks during their unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 53.

Their aim, which Mithali revealed after the game, was to go for 117 after the loss of Wyatt’s wicket.

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“She played really well,” said the skipper.

“We would have gone for the win had she still been around.”

Wyatt, who hit a couple of sixes early on was looking good when she tried to slog-sweep leg-spinner Poonam Yadav, losing her stumps instead.

Earlier, Jemimah played what should be one of the finest innings of her career and delighted an enthusiastic 7000+ crowd in Jaipur.

Her two drives off successive balls early in her innings against left-arm seamer Komal Zanzad – first through the covers and then straight past the bowler – were particularly brilliant.

As was the lone six of the Supernovas inning she hit, walking down the wicket and dispatching pacer Jahanara Alam over mid-wicket.

The Supernovas innings was built around her two partnerships with opener Chamari Atapattu (31) and Sophie Devine (9), with whom she added 55 and 50 for the second and third wickets respectively.

She easily outshone her more seasoned partners, both known for their hard hitting (Devine holds the record for the fastest fifty in women’s T20I). 

But then, in cricket, more often than not, timing often trumps power and that will be the story of this game.