By Suhas Nayse – SJFI Member
SHARJAH: Continuing with the excitement of the Indian Premier League, the opening match of the Jio Women’s T20 Challenge also produced thrilling moments to keep the cricket fans entertained. Underdogs Velocity came up with an inspired performance to shock defending champions Supernovas by five wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Chasing a modest target of 127, Velocity crossed the finish line on the penultimate ball of the match with five wickets to spare. Sune Luus struck an unbeaten 37 (21 balls, 4×4, 1×6) to help Velocity upset the holders. Velocity overcame a jittery start to post an exciting victory. At one stage, Velocity were 38 for the loss of three wickets inside nine overs but South African Luus took them over the line with a steady 37 not out.
The 24-year-old Luus also shared a crucial 51-run stand with Sushma Verma (34) for the fifth wicket to repair the innings after the early setbacks. Needing nine runs from the last over, Luus sealed the chase with two boundaries.
Earlier put in to bat, Supernovas were restricted to 126 for 8 in 20 overs. Left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht, who returned with an impressive figures of 3 for 22, bowled brilliantly to check the flow of runs. Chamari Jayangani was the top scorer for Supernovas with 44 runs. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur got a decent start and slammed 31 but failed to extend her stay at the wicket. Shashikala Siriwardene (18) and Priya Punia (11) were the other notable contributors. Besides Bisht, Leigh Kasperek and Jahanara Alam chipped in with a couple of wickets each.
Velocity will take on Trailblazers on Thursday.
Brief scores: Supernovas 126 for 8 in 20 overs (Chamari Jayangani 44, Harmanpreet Kaur 31, Shashikala Siriwardene 18, Priya Punia 11; Ekta Bisht 3-22, Leigh Kasperek 2-23, Jahanara Alam 2-27) lost to Velocity 129 for 5 in 19.5 overs (Sune Luus 37 not out, Sushma Verma 34, Veda Krishnamurthy 29, Shafali Verma 17; Ayabonga Khaka 2-27, Radha Yadav 1-25, Poonam Yadav 1-27, Shashikala Siriwardene 1-30) by 5 wickets.