Women’s T20 Challenge: Mithali Raj heaps praise on Sune Luus, Sushma Verama as Velocity pip Supernovas

3 weeks ago 7

Captain Mithali Raj conceded there was panic in the Velocity dugout when things were heading south for them when they were reeling at 67 for 4 in chase of 127 against defending champions in the opening match of Women's T20 Challenge 2020 in Sharjah on Wednesday. However, Mithali was more relieved than elated to be on the winning side after the Velocity stole victory from the jaws of defeat.

Mithali Raj heaped rich praise on young South African all-rounder Sune Luus and India wicketkeeper Sushma Verma as the duo bailed Velocity out of trouble when they were looking down and out, needing 50 runs in their last 5 overs.

Velocity beat Supernovas: Women's T20 Challenge Match 1 Highlights

Sune Luus played a blinder as she struck at 176.19, hitting 37 not out in just 21 balls on a sluggish wicket where most of the batters struggled to get going. She got an excellent company from Sushma Verma who took on the Supernovas spinners towards the end. Sushma hit 2 big sixes in her 33-ball 34 as the duo added 51 runs in just 41 balls.

Velocity won the tournament opener, chasing down 127 with a ball and 5 wickets to spare.

"It went very close. I was expecting 120-130, but you expect the openers to get you 30-40 runs. Losing Dani, our main player, there was some panic, but Veda and Luus have played really well and got us back on track," Mithali said.

Velocity got off to a horror start as they lost opener Danielle Wyatt and Shafali Verma inside the powerplay. Captain Mithali struggled to get going in her first competitive match in more than a year, managing just 7 runs from 19 balls. Veda Krishnamurthy chipped in with a handy 29 but she was not able to get the job done. I was Sushma and Luus who combined to produce a fine partnership for the 5th wicket and took Velocity home.

Sushma elated with finisher's role

Speaking after Velocity opened their account as early as the tournament opener, Sushma Verma said she is happy that she was able to execute the finisher's role to perfection.

"I knew that I had to play the finishing role and I'm very well aware of what I need to do. When we won the toss, I was prepared to play this kind of role. I'm happy that I got some runs but more than that, I'm happy that the team won," Sushma said.

Velocity take on the Trailblazers in their 2nd and final match of the league stage on Thursday in Sharjah. The Supernovas face a must-win situation when they take on the Trailblazers on Saturday.

Harmanpreet calls for positive approach from Supernovas

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur acknowledged that the Supernovas need to come back hard if they are to keep their title defence alive. Good contributions from Harmanpreet (31) and Chamari Athapaththu (44) went in vain as the Supernovas' lower-middle order collapsed.

"Playing after a long time, it's not easy for the players. If you keep winning then only you can survive in this tournament. We need to come up with a positive approach in the next game," Harmanpreet said.

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