Velocity will face Supernovas in the finals of the Women’s T20 Challenge on May 28.
The third and final game of the league stage of the Women’s T20 Challenge witnessed defending champions Trailblazers lock horns with Velocity. While the Smriti Mandhana-led Trailblazers had faced a miserable defeat in their last game against the Supernovas, the Deepti Sharma-led Velocity was backed by a win. Trailblazers emerged victorious by 16 runs but Velocity qualified for the finals, thanks to a higher NRR.
Winning the toss, Velocity opted to chase. With Mandhana (1 off 5) being dismissed early in the powerplay, Sabbhineni Meghana utilized every opportunity that she received. After missing out on the first match, she opened the innings alongside Mandhana and took charge of the power-hitting. She was very well supported by Jemimah Rodrigues as the two stitched up a brilliant 113-run partnership for the second wicket.
Sneh Rana gave her side the much-needed breakthrough when she dismissed Meghana (73 off 47) late in the 15th over. Rodrigues (66 off 44) continued the fireworks but fell soon after Meghana’s dismissal in the 17th over. Sophia Dunkley (19 off 8) and Hayley Matthews (27 off 16) added some crucial runs towards the end, before being dismissed by Simran Bahadur in the final over of the innings as Trailblazers put up the highest total in the history of the WT20 Challenge, registering 190/5.
Velocity lose but advance to the finals
Shafali Verma and Yastika Bhatia started with the chase for Velocity. Having won the first game, Velocity required to go past 158 runs in order to play the finals against Supernovas. The opening duo started off the game on a high note as they aimed for the boundaries at least once in the first three overs. Their momentum was broken when Salma Khatun dished out Bhatia for a 15-ball 19.
Varma (29 off 15) looked to continue her prowess when she hit Rajeshwari Gayakwad for three boundaries in the fifth over, but the spinner had the last laugh when she scalped her to give her team the upper hand. Velocity ended up scoring the highest powerplay total of WT20 Challenge as the batters knocked 68 runs in six overs. Laura Wolvaardt supported Kiran Navgire on the field as the latter fired with the bat.
Wolvaardt (17 off 16) could not leave an impression, but Navgire owned the game. She smashed the fastest half-century in WT20 Challenge history, in just 25 balls, and also led the team to register the fastest team 100 of the tournament. It took long for Trailblazers to get Navgire (69 off 34) out, but once they did, the batting unit fell like dominoes. Though Velocity could not win the game, they managed to score enough to make their way into the finals in search of their maiden WT20 Challenge title.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
IPL’s tagline is ‘Talent meets opportunity’. Likes of Sabbineni Meghana and Kiran Navgire have shown there’s talent beyond the India blues in Women’s cricket too. They just need opportunity. #IPL #Womenscricket
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) May 26, 2022
– Off the mark with a six.
– completed fifty with a six.
– Fastest fifty of this league.
– smashed 69 runs from 34 balls while chasing 191 runs in her maiden innings.
Take a bow, Kiran Navgire. pic.twitter.com/anuivmMIgy
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) May 26, 2022
I’m here for the depth in Indian women’s cricket.
Sabbineni Meghana. Kiran Navgire. The list goes on.
I’m here for a full fledged Women’s IPL.
— Snehal Pradhan (@SnehalPradhan) May 26, 2022
So India actually has a power hitter like Kiran Navgire in their wings who could be a potential game changer given the lack of power factor in Women’s cricket, but apparently we don’t have depth as per the president of the BCCI.
Colour me suprised with the man’s wrong takes.
— Gurkirat Singh Gill (@gurkiratsgill) May 26, 2022
In this season’s Senior Women’s T20 Trophy, Kiran Navgire scored 525 runs. No one else scored more than 325.
Her strike rate was 173.
She hit 35 sixes. Next was 15.
She hit 54 fours. Next was 39.
— Abhishek Mukherjee (@ovshake42) May 26, 2022
Kiran Navgire becomes the first uncapped player to score a fifty in Women’s T20 Challenge.
Also has the fastest fifty in Women’s T20 Challenge, in just 25 balls. All in her maiden innings.#WomensT20Challenge
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) May 26, 2022
Kiran Navgire hit 35 sixes in Senior Women’s League a month back, the highest recorded in a Women’s T20 series.
Now begins Women’s T20 Challenge with a six off her first ball faced.#WT20Challenge
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) May 26, 2022
A player from Maharashtra, couldn’t get chance to play there. Played for Nagaland in the plate group, bagged every possible records in the Senior T20 & now outshining an international star like Wolvaardt. That’s Kiran Prabhu Navgire!
And there is no depth, right?? #WT20Challenge
— Ritwika Dhar (@RituD307) May 26, 2022
Kiran Navgire, Sabbineni Meghana are the perfect examples of depth in the domestic circuit.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) May 26, 2022
We heard that she could hit the ball a long way; watching it being smashed Live! The ball has been dispatched by this powerful striker Kiran Navgire. Her debut innings in #WT20Challenge is a smashing one for #Velocity @IPL pic.twitter.com/Z80W8KoUDG
— Anjum Chopra (@chopraanjum) May 26, 2022
Playing infront of their family and making them proud, no better feeling 💗
Fought well girls, extremely proud gotta feel for you. 3 matches don’t decide the destiny 😊
What a record breaking tournament!! 💥#WomensT20Challenge pic.twitter.com/Ciq6iF73lm
— Hiya Shah (@jemi_smriti_fan) May 26, 2022
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) May 26, 2022
Seeing is believing!
— Lavanya 🎙️🎥👩🏻💻 (@lav_narayanan) May 26, 2022
A debut to remember for Kiran Navgire.
— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) May 26, 2022