WT20 Challenge: Shafali, Wolvaardt dazzle as Velocity beat Supernovas

PUNE: The swashbuckling Shafali Verma blazed away at the top before Laura Wolvaardt’s unbeaten half century as Velocity overhauled a stiff target to get the better of Supernovas by seven wickets in the Women’s T20 Challenge on Tuesday. Set a target of 151 after opting to field, Velocity completed the chase with 10 balls to spare. After Shafali’s breezy knock of 51 in 33 balls, Laura Wolvaard (51 off 35 balls) and Deepti Sharma (24 not out) saw their side home comfortably.

Chasing a challenging target, Velocity lost Natthakan Chantham (1) early but the big-hitting Shafali decided to go all guns blazing as the team raced to 60 for the loss of only one wicket by the time the six power play overs came to an end. Shafali reached her half century in quick time, needing only 28 runs to get to the landmark. She did so in style, pulling Deandra Dottin for a boundary over midwicket.

Though she managed to score only 17 off 13 balls, Yastika Bhatia gave Shafali company when the team needed it the most, having suffered an early blow. Shafali got out after scoring an aggressive 51 off 33 balls, the successful bowler being Dottin, but the experienced duo of Wolvaardt and Sharma ensured the Velocity were home without much difficulty.

Earlier, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur top-scored with a blistering 51-ball 71 as Supernovas posted 150 for five. The Velocity opted to bowl after winning the toss and their bowlers appeared to have done a decent job before Harmanpreet’s onslaught. India’s T20 captain Harmanpreet smashed seven fours and three sixes during her scintillating knock that left the Velocity bowers bruised and battered.

Taniya Bhatia chipped in with a useful knock of 36 off 32 balls. Bhatia, who is now a part of the Indian women’s senior team, struck three boundaries during her stay in the middle. The duo of Harmanpreet and Bhatia added invaluable 82 runs for the fourth wicket after their team was reeling at 18 for three in the fourth over. Down the order, Sune Luss contributed an unbeaten 20 in 14 balls, hitting three fours in her breezy knock.

Among the Velocity bowlers, Kate Cross was the most successful with impressive figures of 2/24 in her quota of four overs, while Deepti Sharma and Radha Yadav picked up a wicket apiece, the latter accounting for the important scalp of Harmanpreet. However, Supernovas still managed to score a decent total in the end and Velocity will have to bat extremely well to reach the target at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.