Talk about the perfect advertisement for the expansion of the game. Here you go! A humdinger of a final. In the end, Harmanpreet's girls held their nerve to pip a topsy-turvy Velocity who threatened to steal the show with a spectacular ninth-wicket partnership between Laura Wolvaardt and Simran Bahadur.
Supernovas wins its third Women's T20 Challenge title in four seasons.
VEL 161/8 in 20 overs: Ecclestone slides the ball to the pads and Wolvaardt launches the ball over mid-wicket for SIX! This is going down to the wire, folks. Absolute frenzy. 11 needed off 5. Ecclestone comes over the wicket and Wolvaardt attempts to cut, she gets a single. Velocity needs 10 off 4 balls. Simran attempts a scoop but edges it straight to short-fine. Supernovas review as the ball seemingly slid down to the fielder off Simran's pad. Not out as the ball pitches outside the off-stump. 9 needed off 3 balls. Wolvaardt sweeps a fuller ball and finds two runs. 7 needed off 2. Ecclestone darts in a yorker and Wolvaardt gets a single off the inside-edge. Argh... 6 needed off 1 with Simran on strike. An absolute cliff-hanger off a final. Full-toss and Simran miscues it altogether and has her bat flying off the grip. Supernovas WIN by four runs!
Ecclestone to bowl the final over.
Velocity needs 17 runs in 6 balls.
VEL 149/8 in 19 overs: Wolvaardt pumps the first ball from Vastrakar down the ground for FOUR. Velocity refuse to bog down, just yet. Vastrakar comes around the wicket and angles the ball across. Wolvaardt fails to go over the inner-circle and settles for a single. Simran cannot afford a dot ball. Length ball and Simran smacks the ball down the ground for FOUR! Velocity needs 25 off 9 balls. In the slot and Simran whacks the ball over mid-off for another FOUR - 21 needed off 8! High class, Simran! She moves across to the off-stump and paddles Vastrakar over short fine-leg for FOUR! Vastrakar fends one down leg and a questionable decision from the umpire as it is called a dot ball. Simran is in disbelief.
Velocity needs 34 runs in 12 balls
VEL 132/8 in 18 overs: FIFTY for Wolvaardt with a single, right after she tonks King for a massive SIX over long-on. Simran lightens the load on Wolvaardt with a glorious SIX over long-on to finish the over.
Velocity needs 48 runs in 18 balls
VEL 118/8 in 17 overs: Kate Cross shuffles across and ramps Dottin's delivery over the keeper for FOUR. Outside-edge and Cross sends the ball over short-third for another FOUR. This is a fine cameo as Cross pumps the ball down the ground for two runs. Quick bouncer onto the shoulders and Cross nicks it to the keeper. Dottin does it again!
Kate Cross c †Bhatia b Dottin 13 (7b 2x4
VEL 105/7 in 16 overs: Alana tosses the ball on the full and Wolvaardt pummels the ball over long-off for SIX! She gets a single. OUT! Sneh Rana is cleaned up with a tossed-up delivery that skims through the gates. Supernovas strike right when Velocity was threatening to switch gears. Radha Yadav in at 8. OUT! Radha holes out to cover first ball! She advances down the ground and Radha miscues the ball off length and Harmanpreet pouches the ball safely. Kate Cross in at 9. She blocks out the hattrick delivery.
Sneh Rana b King 15 (15b 2x4), Radha Yadav c Kaur b King 0 (1b
Velocity needs 69 runs in 30 balls
VEL 97/5 in 15 overs: Dottin strays to the pads and Wolvaardt flicks it beautifully for FOUR. She gets off strike with a single. Thick edge off Rana's bat and the ball lobs over short-third for another FOUR.
VEL 85/5 in 14 overs: In the air and just shy of the long-off fielder. Wolvaardt takes her chances and lifts the ball over mid-off and an excellent effort from the deep is not enough to stop the ball from rolling onto the fence for FOUR.
VEL 75/5 in 13 overs: King slides the ball down leg and Rana paddles the ball down leg for FOUR. A single to follow. Wolvaardt shimmes down the track but keeps the ball along the line to deep cover for one run.
VEL 68/5 in 12 overs: Sneh Rana gets off the mark with a single from a low full-toss. Four runs off a fine over from Kanojia.
VEL 64/5 in 11 overs: Kings finds some turn off the length and Wolvaardt pushes the ball to the point fielder. Wolvaardt attempts to step out and hit the ball past mid-off but Dottin denies a single with a sharp dive. In the air and Deepti Sharma holes out to long-on. This chase is tapering off quickly as King strikes in the first over.
Deepti Sharma c Vastrakar b King 2 (5b)
Alana King into the attack
VEL 60/4 in 10 overs: Wolvaardt pushes the ball to deep cover for a single. Deepti Sharma in at 6. Rashi drops short and Deepti sweeps it across for a single.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is in attendance.
VEL 58/4 in 9 overs: Full from Vastrakar and Wolvaardt pushes the ball swiftly past mid-off and mid-on for FOUR. Short from Vastrakar and Wolvaardt pulls the ball past mid-wicket for a crisp FOUR. Wrapped on the pads and Chantham is caught plumb in front. Her struggle at the middle comes to an end as Vastrakar roars in delight. N Chantham lbw Vastrakar 6 (13b)
VEL 47/3 in 8 overs: The left-armer starts off with a wide floated delivery and Wolvaardt drills to the deep for a single. Similar lengths and Chantham pushes it deep for one run. Chantham and Wolvaardt continue to sneak in quick singles. In the air and Chantham nearly holes to cover.
Rashi Kanojia replaces Ecclestone
VEL 42/3 in 7 overs: Wolvaardt and Chantham rotate strike with singles. Vastrakar hits the length outside the off-stump and beats Wolvaardt's outside-edge. Excellent finish as Vastrakar finds the blockhole.
Pooja Vastrakar into the attack
VEL 38/3 in 6 overs: Ecclestone cleans up Navgire - a 13-ball duck for the big hitter. Bizarre night for Navgire as Velocity finds itself in a quagmire altogether. Laura Wolvaardt in at 5. Ecclestone continues to mount the pressure on the batters with a sharp line.
Kiran Navgire b Ecclestone 0 (13b)
VEL 37/2 in 5 overs: Dottin continues. She pins one into the blockhole and Navgire fends it out. Two more dots to follow and Navgire remains stranded on 0 off eight balls! Make that nine. Beaten with a slower-ball as Dottin sends the ball closely past Navgire's outside-edge. Cracking over for Dottin, maiden!
VEL 37/2 in 4 overs: Ecclestone hits the length and Yastika sweeps it down to square-leg for FOUR. Yastika slices the ball to short-third, dot ball. IN THE AIR and Yastika lobs the ball straight back to the bowler! Massive jolt for Velocity as the world's no.1 bowler strikes. Natthakan Chantham in at 4.
Yastika Bhatia c & b Ecclestone 13 (9b 3x4)
VEL 32/1 in 3 overs: Dottin to Shafali. OUT! A terrific catch by Taniya Bhatia behind the stumps. Dottin induces a thick outside-edge and the ball falls sharply to the right of Taniya. She does well to skim low to his right and pouch a nice catch. Dottin does the trick once again with the ball. Kiran Navgire in at 3. Dottin follows up with three wides on the trot! Navgire mistimes a slog to mid-wicket and a hard chance goes down. Dottin comes around the wicket. Navgire steps out to pump a bouncer but the extra pace has the ball hit her flush on the grille. The physio comes out to have a check. Dottin regains her composure with four consecutive dots. An unlikely Navgire start as Dottin pins her down with five dot balls.
Shafali Verma c †Bhatia b Dottin 15 (8b 3x4)
Dottin into the attack
VEL 28/0 in 2 overs: Ecclestone wafts the ball outside the off-stump and Shafali slams it through extra cover for FOUR. Shafali drives the ball down the ground for a single. Yastika complements with a flick through mid-wicket for one run. Ecclestone slides one in and Shafali wallops the ball over mid-on for FOUR. A single follows to deep cover.
Sophie Ecclestone from the opposite end
VEL 17/0 in 1 over: A hint of shape for Mansi as the ball moves away from Shafali after pitching on length. Wide delivery as Mansi fends one across the line. Mansi sends another ball across the line and Shafali gets the toe-end of the bat on ball and it slides past backward point for FOUR. Single for Shafali as she slaps the ball down to deep cover. The no ball menace continues as Mansi oversteps. Free hit for Yastika first-up. Dot ball. Mansi errs in line and sends another ball down leg for wide. She comes over the wicket and fends short. Yastika easily flicks it off her waist behind square for FOUR. A hint of shape and Mansi sends another ball down leg for wide . Shoddy start from Mansi and Supernovas as another shot ball is slammed by Yastika past backward square for FOUR.
Mansi Joshi up with the new ball. Shafali on strike.
Shafali Verma and Yastika Bhatia walk out to the centre for Velocity.
The chase begins.
The Supernovas skipper Harmanpreet Kaur seems to be in good spirits after setting the highest WT20C final score at the MCA Stadium. However, she wouldn't disagree if one would say Velocity did well with a late recovery. Supernovas might have been deprived of 15-20 runs with some excellent death bowling from Velocity.
Supernovas's 165/7 is the highest total in WT20C finals.
SNO 165/7 in 20 overs: Simran starts with a fine delivery wide outside the off-stump. Simran fends short and Alana Kings pumps the ball just over the deep mid-wicket fielder for SIX! Simran hits King's pad and there's a shout an lbw. Velocity reviews and the replays suggest the ball is sliding down leg. Harleen sprints hard to find two runs. Slower-ball and Harleen chips the last ball straight to Deepti at cover.
SNO 155/6 in 19 overs: Deepti rolls in a full-toss and Luus sweeps it across for a single. Three full-tosses on the trot and three singles. Deepti tosses one fuller and Luus works it down to long-on for another single. The Supernovas fails to find the big shots. In the air and there goes another. Luus slaps one straight to the long-off fielder.
Sune Luus c Yadav b Sharma 3 (4b)
SNO 150/5 in 18 overs: Cross lands a yorker to Ecclestone. Ecclestone pushes a low full-toss down to long-on for a single. In the air and Harmanpreet holes out to mid-off. Harman miscues the slog over the field off the shorter length and Shafali takes a safe catch. Sune Luus in at 6. Another one bites the dust. Cross finds a faint outside-edge off Ecclestone and Yastika gloves a sharp catch behind the stumps. This is an excellent comeback from Velocity. Harleen in at 7. She's off the blocks with a single.
Harmanpreet Kaur c Shafali Verma b Cross 43 (29b 1x4 3x6) , Sophie Ecclestone c †Bhatia b Cross 2 (3b)
SNO 146/3 in 17 overs: Khaka returns with a wide delivery down leg. Harmanpreet sweeps Khaka off a nearly fuller length delivery for a single! OUT! Khaka hits the stumps as Vastrakar swings big but misses. Excellent spell from Khaka, she bowls out at 4-0-27-1.
Pooja Vastrakar b Khaka 5 (5b)
SNO 138/2 in 16 overs: Vastrakar pushes the ball down the ground for a single. Harmanpreet lofts the ball over mid-off for two runs. Fine over from Cross, just seven runs off it.
Kate Cross returns. Vastrakar joins Harmanpreet.
SNO 131/2 in 15 overs: Deepti finds the blockhole time and again. OUT! Deepti cleans up Dottin with another sharp delivery onto the stumps as the batter misses a paddle-sweep.
Deandra Dottin b Sharma 62 (44b 1x4 4x6)
Deepti Sharma into the attack
SNO 126/1 in 14 overs: Radha Yadav continues to bowl from over the wicket. In the slot and Harmanpreet smacks the ball over mid-wicket for another SIX. Poor stuff from the bowler and the captain to continue to bowl to a menacing Harman right in her arc. And Radha makes a switch to around the wicket. Radha wafts another full ball and Harmanpreet launches another SIX over deep mid-wicket! Another slog-sweep and Harmanpreet bisects the square-leg and deep mid-wicket fielder for FOUR. 50-run partnership for Harman and Dottin.
SNO 108/1 in 13 overs: Dottin pushes a fuller ball down to long-on for a single. Tight line again from Simran as Harmanpreet works the ball through mid-wicket for one run. In the air and Harmanpreet gets away with a tame slog over mid-on for another single.
Simran swaps ends
SNO 103/1 in 12 overs: Rana wafts one in and Harmanpreet shuffles across and sends the ball deep into the stands for another SIX! Harman shuffles once again and sweeps a low full-toss to backward square for a single. Sneh offers another full toss but Dottin fails to hit it over the fence, single to long-on. Harman attempts another shuffle and Sneh reacts with a wide delivery well outside off.
Rana replaces Simran
SNO 91/1 in 11 overs: Radha begins from over the wicket to Harmanpreet who glides it fine for a single. Well, well, here's another no-ball. Radha oversteps and a free hit for Dottin. She swings big and whacks it in style over mid-wicket for SIX - fifty for Deandra Dottin! Dottin starts off on a quick single and Yadav covers enough ground to her right and flicks the ball back to the stumps but misses. An overthrow concedes three runs.
Radha Yadav into the attack
SNO 78/1 in 10 overs: Simran offers width and Dottin crashes it through point. A full-length dive from Shafali stops a boundary as a hard chance goes down. Punia hoicks the next ball over fine leg fielder for SIX. In the air and Punia holes out this time! Wolvaardt holds onto a fine catch at backward point and Velocity finally breaks through. Harmanpreet in at 3. Right, the skipper has promoted herself with an intent to go big. Harman gets off the mark with a single as Simran oversteps. Free hit. Dottin sends it straight up to the cover fielder. Uh, oh. Simran oversteps again and there's another free hit. No run off the extra ball.
Priya Punia c Wolvaardt b Bahadur 28 (29b 0x4 2x6)
SNO 66/0 in 9 overs: Khaka continues. In the slot and Dottin goes for the slog. Close, close and the ball clears the deep square-leg fielder by a whisker for SIX! Navgire probably got some hand on that one. Dottin and Punia continue to churn runs at a firm rate.
SNO 55/0 in 8 overs: Simran maintains a fine attacking line to the batters first-up. Wicketkeeper Yastika stands up to the stumps for Punia who finds a single to deep mid-wicket. Another catch goes down! Dottin whacks the ball straight back and Bahadur fails to latch onto a sharp chance.
Simran Bahadur into the attack
SNO 51/0 in 7 overs: Khaka continues. She is bowling with a lot more control tonight. Fifty up for Velocity - the highest opening stand of this edition.
SNO 46/0 in 6 overs: BOOM! In the slot she fends and Dottin unleashes a cracking slog over deep mid-wicket for SIX. Not Rana's at the moment as this comes right on the back of a spilt chance. Similar length and same result. Dottin thumps the ball a lot straighter and clears the long-on fence with ease for SIX. Flatter trajectory and Dottin pushes the ball down to deep point for a single. Rana fends short and beats Punia's outside-edge with a whisker as an attempted cut goes down the drain. A dot to finish the PowerPlay.
Sneh Rana into the attack
SNO 31/0 in 5 overs: Khaka hits the deck hard and pins the batter deep into the crease. Dottin works the ball into the deep for another single. Excellent rotation of strike at the moment as the batters pierce the gaps for quick runs. Khaka zips one in high into Dottin's pads and there's a loud shout for an lbw. Seems like sliding down leg but Velocity opts for a review. Dottin survives as the replays suggest Umpire's Call on Impact. Dottin attempts to cut off a sharp line and the ball goes straight to the point fielder. A single to finish, just three runs from the over.
Ayabonga Khaka replaces Cross
SNO 28/0 in 4 overs: Deepti loops one in and Punia gets a faint nick as she attempts to sweep off a fine length. Three singles to follow. In the air and dropped at mid-wicket! Dottin mistimes another slog across the line and Sneh Rana spills a straight-forward chance. Will that prove costly for Velocity?
SNO 24/0 in 3 overs: Cross continues to pump the ball further up and she induces an inside-edge off Punia back to her pad and she finds a single. Cross keeps it tight to Dottin as she attempts a rash heave while clearing her front-leg but gets another inside-edge to the pad before finding a single. In the slot and Punia lofts the ball elegantly over mid-off for SIX. A single to follow. Cross tails one in and Dottin quickly flicks it through mid-wicket for FOUR.
SNO 11/0 in 2 overs: Deepti tosses one in to leg and Dottin flicks it through square for a single. Punia nudges the ball down the ground for another single. Dottin squeezes the ball past mid-off and prompts the long-off fielder to save a boundary, two runs. A couple of singles to follow. The batter are keeping themselves busy. A dot to finish, six runs off it.
Deepti Sharma from the opposite end
SNO 5/0 in 1 over: Cross begins with a sharp delivery outside off-stump and Punia bends forward to defend. No ball! Free hit to start the final. Beaten by a length delivery as Punia steps out to heave through the line. A hint of shape on offer there for Cross. Cross finds his line and pushes three dots on the trot. Short ball from Cross and Punia hooks it fine for a single. Dottin sets off on a quick single and a sharp throw from Deepti at mid-off hits the stumps at the non-striker's end. Dottin does well to make her ground and sneaks in the extra run off the overthrow.
Kate Cross up with the new ball. Punia on strike.
Deandra Dottin and Priya Punia open for the Supernovas.
Velocity XI: , Shafali Verma, Natthakan Chantham, Yastika Bhatia, Laura Wolvaardt, Deepti Sharma, Kiran Navgire, Sneh Rana, Radha Yadav Ayabonga Khaka, Simran Bahadur, Kate Cross
Supernovas XI: Priya Punia, Deandra Dottin, Harleen Deol, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Sune Luus, Alana King, Pooja Vastrakar, Sophie Ecclestone, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Mansi Joshi, Rashi Kanojia
Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma walk out to the centre for the toss.
Pitch report by Deep Dasgupta: We're back on the pitch that was used for the first game. It looks fabulous. An even covering of grass and the batters should enjoy batting on it. From the bowling point of view, it is important to get your lines right. You have to bowl a lot straighter when bowling from the North End. While bowling from the South End, you want to be bowling well outside off. Another high-scoring encounter is foreseen.
6:45PM IST: Team Velocity in the final laps of prep work ahead of the summit clash.
6:30PM IST: Skipper Harman is in the house.
6:10PM IST: Among all the narratives tonight, one story that will standout is that of Kiran Navgire. In a statement of remarkable proportions, Navgire made her batting debut on the bigger pedestal by smashing the fastest WT20C half-century. Can the Velocity's X-factor lead it to the elusive title and unlock her road to the Indian team. Before that here's a profile on the 26-year-old batter: Athletics’ loss is cricket’s gain - the Kiran Prabhu Navgire story
SUPERNOVAS vs VELOCITY MATCH PREVIEW
If the league games in the Women's T20 Challenge are anything to go by, the MCA stadium will be in for a cracker of a final between Supernovas and Velocity in Pune on Saturday.
Besides tying up a strong case for a full-fledged Women's Indian Premier League from next year, the final might also serve as an audition for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
It is certainly something that is working on Supernovas skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's mind.
READ: Women's T20 Challenge: Velocity qualifies for final as Trailblazers win goes in vain
"These matches are important for me to carry my form to whatever tournament. Whatever matches we have, I want to contribute and be in a good frame of mind ahead of Commonwealth Games 2022," she said ahead of the summit clash.
Kaur's purple patch has been crucial for Supernovas, which is not as balanced as it would have liked to be with the bat, despite having Deandra Dottin, Harleen Deol, Sune Luus and Pooja Vastrakar in the lineup.
Dottin and Priya Punia provided a good start for the side against Trailblazers but failed to get going against Velocity. In both cases, the rescue act fell on Kaur's shoulders. With 37(29) in the first game and 71(51) in the second, she is crucial to Supernovas fortunes in the final.
Dottin finds herself up against Kiran Navgire who, on batting debut, scored the fastest fifty in the tournament's history on Thursday. "Mujhe dot balls pasand nahin hai (I don't like dot balls)," is a line often used anytime she faces a camera to explain her approach.
ALSO READ: Kiran Navgire smashes fastest fifty on Women's T20 Challenge batting debut
"This is the first time I have seen (Navgire) play. We have tried some things at the net today while planning for her. Her innings (against Trailblazers) was very impactful, and everyone enjoyed it. The first ball she faced (which she hit for a six) showed what kind of a player she is. It was great to see someone from India hitting the ball into the stands," Kaur said.
Her explosive powers seem much like Dottin's; both batters barely need to strain an extra muscle to clear the sight screen. Supernovas will bank on her to steady their start and play a long innings.
Harmanpreet placed much importance on her bowling arsenal, but Alana King and Sophie Ecclestone have not been as menacing to take on. Part of it might have got to do with the wicket, with its generous green patches proving hassle-free for batters. Then again, if the nature of the pitch is changed, teams will need to adapt accordingly.
Vastrakar becomes important in this equation. Her feisty run-up and consistent lines against batters like Navgire will be interesting to watch.
For Velocity, fielding was a concern against Trailblazers, with four dropped catches allowing a 113-run partnership take shape between S Meghana and Jemimah Rodrigues.
Skipper Deepti Sharma has backed up Kate Cross with the new ball to some success and intends to continue.
"I have been bowling with the new ball in domestic and international cricket and I am used to it now. If you can control the new ball, you can bowl with the old ball as well," Sharma said.
ALSO READ: Women’s T20 Challenge: Verma and Wolvaardt in perfect yin-yang symbiosis
Velocity is bidding for its maiden WT20C title, the only team among the three to not win a title yet, and its captain seems confident of going all the way.
"We have the team to win the trophy given the way we have been playing from the first game with all the players doing their roles. Moreover, we have been enjoying the game," she added, evident in the Bollywood-inspired celebration.
For exports from the domestic leagues and fringe players like Harleen Deol, the final could be their best chance to hog the limelight and hopefully grab the selectors attention.
- Lavanya Lakshmi Narayanan
SUPERNOVAS vs VELOCITY DREAM11 FANTASY TEAM PICKS
SUPERNOVAS VS Y Predicted XIs
Supernovas Predicted XI: Priya Punia, Deandra Dottin, Harleen Deol, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Sune Luus, Alana King, Pooja Vastrakar, Sophie Ecclestone, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Meghna Singh, V Chandu
Velocity Predicted XI : Shafali Verma, Laura Wolvaardt, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Natthakan Chantham, Deepti Sharma (c), Kiran Navgire, Sneh Rana, Radha Yadav, Kate Cross, Ayabonga Khaka, Simran Bahadur
SUPERNOVAS VS Y Squads
WHERE TO WATCH SUPERNOVAS VS VELOCIT Y, WOMEN'S T20 CHALLENGE 2022 FINAL LIVE?
The Women's T20 Challenge 2022 final match between Velocity and Supernovas will be telecast live on the Star Sports network from 7:30pm. You can also follow the game on Disney+ Hotstar.