JAIPUR: Finally it’s time for women to get going on the T20 ride in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Defending champions Supernovas, Velocity and Trailblazers led by Harmanpreet Kaur, Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana, respectively will be up against each other for the third edition of the Women’s T20 Challenge that begins in Sharjah from Wednesday.
Of all the circumstantial limitations posed by Covid-19 and consequent delay in hosting of the event, missing out on a few big foreign names like Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates and Natalie Sciver leaves the competition a shade lighter. Since, Women’s Big Bash League is also currently underway, the player participation got divided.
Nevertheless, the four-match T20 challenge that is still in its nascent stage, has picked up popularity because of its Indian contingent that includes rising stars like Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues. Having taken the cricketing world by storm during the Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year, Verma will yet again take the spotlight in a tournament where the stage belongs to a swashbuckler.
The opener will be played between Supernovas and Velocity. It was in the final last year that the two teams clashed in a humdinger that was won by Kaur & Co on the last ball. The India T20 captain led from the front with ample support from youngster Rodrigues, who was the highest run-getter with 123 runs from three games under her belt that season.
Supernovas have been a dominant force in the previous two editions, and will look to maintain their perfect record with an eye on the third consecutive title finish. With everyone on the same page in terms of training and match practice, the evenly spread three squads will have to outdo each other in terms of swiftness in mingling with the pace of the mini tournament to stamp their authority.
Supernovas Vs Velocity: November 4 (7:30 PM IST)
Velocity Vs Trailblazers: November 5 (3:30 PM IST)
Trailblazers Vs Supernovas: November 7 (7:30 PM IST)
Final: November 9 (7:30 PM IST)