A crowd of more than 2480 people watched a very special round of the final match of the Women’s T20 Tournament at MCA Stadium on Thursday, where a Maharashtrian cricketer who chose to represent Nagaland due to lack opportunity at home, the stage is on fire.
Kiran Navgire was one of the most anticipated talents making his way from the Senior Women’s T20 Cup (the top performer in the tournament) to the WT20C and she lived her life to the fullest, helping Velocity reach the final despite despite losing the match against Trailblazer until the age of 16. run. Navgire broke a remarkable half-century on her batting debut, and it’s also the fastest record in tournament history.
Velocity was given a target of 191 ramps to chase, however in reality a total of 159 would secure it a spot in the final thanks to its better NRR (net run rate). Openers Shafali Verma and Yastika Bhatia got off to a quick start, getting 36 runs in the first four passes to set the pace of the rounds.
Smriti Mandhana then brought Salma Khatun, a proven partnership-breaker, to try to collide with the duo and she served, placing a long ball to Bhatia that cut across the wooden frame. . Verma fell shortly afterwards and left Navgire with the enormous task of getting the team to the finals.
Navgire, who scored 163* in the recently concluded Senior Women’s T20 Cup (the highest T20 score by an Indian smash, male or female), was expected to open but came in third. She went from the start with Laura Wolvaardt holding the fort at the other end – stitching together a 55-run rack for the third stick to help Velocity become the fastest 100 team in the league.
However, Poonam Yadav almost immediately finished with his slower foot, causing Wolvaardt to finish close to the ball to Ghosh behind the tree. What followed was a collapse. Navgire stood firmly at one end while the player plummeted at the other, until she tripped over Yadav’s lack of pace in the 69th minute. Velocity needed five runs from that period to qualify for the run. finals but it takes another 10 balls to get the job done.
The Purple Girls ultimately lost to the Trailblazer team who left the tournament with a consolation victory.
Putting the ball into play, Sabbhineni Meghana (73 years old) took on Kate Cross, scoring 10 points past her in the first half. The Trailblazer faced an early hiccup when captain Smriti Mandhana misplaced a Cross bowling shot with Simran Bahadur in the deep middle range. With Jemimah Rodrigues (66 years old) for the company, Meghana picked up the pace, keeping a steady running pace with small boundaries.
The duo made the partnership 113 runs, the second-highest in tournament history (six short runs versus the 119 standing between Mandhana and Harleen Deol for the Trailblazer against Supernova in 2019). Rodrigues, who looked a bit apprehensive during two games in the tournament, drew confidence from her partner.
Speed was normal on the field and gave the couple four lifelines, two each. Meghana was missed by Rana at 16 and Ayabonga Khaka in 63, while Rodrigues had two lifelines in a pass, with Radha Yadav and Rana once again unable to catch on. It was an unpleasant day for Bahadur, whose three of the catch bowling games went to waste.
While Cross, Rana, Khaka, and Bahadur finally made their name, Sophia Dunkley, Hayley Matthews, and took the Trailblazer to the highest record in tournament history.
Velocity takes on the Supernovas in the final of the tournament at the same venue on Saturday.