The final match of the Women’s T20 Challenge will be played on May 28 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune between Supernovas and Velocity. Team Supernovas led by captain Harmanpreet Kaur will have a go at their third title in four editions of the Women’s T20 Challenge while team Velocity led by captain Deepti Sharma will be looking for their first one.
Both the teams enter into the finals with a loss having suffered defeats in their previous encounters. While Supernovas faced a seven-wicket defeat against Velocity, Velocity lost to Trailblazers by 16 runs. Despite their recent losses, there is not an iota of doubt that the two teams have some good players who are genuine match winners. The head-to-head statistics also emphasize that the two teams have been fiercely competitive. They have faced each other four times and both the teams have won two matches each.
However, having said that if there was one team between the Supernovas and Velocity who has a stronger chance of winning the Women’s T20 Challenge finals, it will arguably be the Harmanpreet Kaur-led Supernovas.
Supernovas will take on Velocity in the second match of the Women’s T20 Challenge and even though they were way too strong for Trailblazers on Monday, our friends at Sports Betting Dime are predicting another victory for Supernovas.
Supernovas have won the championship twice already in 2018 and 2019 and were in the finals in 2020, the year in which Trailblazers won their first title. So, it can be seen that Supernovas have the experience of not just playing the finals but also winning it. On the other hand, Velocity, a team that was formed in 2019 has not won a single championship. Their best performance came in 2019 when they reached the finals, however, went down to Supernovas.
Apart from this, over the last three editions, Harmanpreet Kaur has captained Supernovas. She is an experienced leader as she is also the skipper of India’s T20I side. Velocity, on the other hand, has seen a change in leadership. They were led by Mithali Raj in 2019 and 2020. This year Deepti Sharma took on the reins. Though captainship is not completely alien to Sharma, who also leads her state team Bengal in domestic tournaments, she does not have the experience of leading a side in a tournament like the Women’s T20 Challenge where there is a mix of Indian and foreign players.
In addition to this, the leading run-getter and highest wicket-taker in this year’s tournament so far have been from Supernovas. While in terms of runs, Harmanpreet Kaur is sitting at the top of the table with 108 runs in two matches, including two half-centuries and the best of 71, Pooja Vastrakar is leading the bowling chart with five wickets in two matches. Both these players are good all-rounders and can win matches for their teams single-handedly.
Looking at the past records and current performances, the odds may favour Supernovas but it will only be naïve to rule out the chances of Velocity winning their maiden Women’s T20 Challenge title. Velocity boasts of impact players like Shafali Verma and Laura Wolvaardt, not to forget the power-hitter Kiran Navgire who took the world by storm in her debut Women’s T20 Challenge match against the Trailblazers on May 26.
The final of the Women’s T20 Challenge will certainly be a clash of the titans and it will be exciting to see which team gets the better of the other on the battlefield.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.