Apart from the best players of Indian women’s cricket, players from England, South Africa and West Indies will show their skills and stamina against each other in the third Women’s T20 Challenge, which starts here on Wednesday. The tournament will feature four matches in which three teams will take on defending champions Supernovas, last year’s runners-up Velocity and the Trailblazers.
These three teams will clash with each other followed by the final on November 9. Players from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and New Zealand are also participating in the tournament. Harmanpreet Kaur’s team Supernovas have won all their matches in the last two tournaments so far. She will start her campaign against the Velocity team led by Mithali Raj and will be eyeing her third consecutive title win.
Harmanpreet was in excellent form in the last tournament. He scored half-centuries in two of the three matches. His innings of 51 off 37 balls played a key role in the victory. India’s T20 captain will try to return to his form. She performed poorly in the Women’s World T20 in Australia earlier this year. Harmanpreet scored in five matches at an average of 6.00, which India suffered and had to be content with the runners-up.
All eyes will also be on Jemima Rodrigues. Last season, the Mumbai cricketer scored the highest 123 and was adjudged the best player of the tournament. Mithali will be ready to lead in the opposing team. Losing four wickets in the last over last year, his team had to face defeat and now their team will try to take revenge.
Velocity’s boss will be largely dependent on 16-year-old Shaifali Verma, who hit the most nine sixes in the World T20. All international players will appear on the field for the first time since the Women’s World T20 in February-March due to Kovid-19. So it will be interesting to see their fitness level.
Thailand opener Nathkan Chantham will also take part in the tournament, who scored his country’s first half-century in the World T20. She is the first associate cricketer to play in the tournament. She will play for the Trailblazers, captained by Indian opener Smriti Mandhana.
The trailblazers’ squad includes veteran fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, England spinner Sophie Ecclestone and West Indies star Deandra Dotin. The BCCI started the tournament in 2018. In the first tournament, only one match was played in Mumbai. Then the Supernovas led by Harmanpreet Kaur defeated the Trailblazers by three wickets. All matches will be played in Sharjah. The first match will be played from 7.30 pm.
The teams are as follows:
Supernovas: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Jemimah Rodrigues (Vice Captain), Chamari Attapattu, Priya Punia, Anuja Patil, Radha Yadav, Tania Bhatia (Wicketkeeper), Sasikala Sirivardhane, Poonam Yadav, Shakira Selman, Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastra Soni Vestra , Ayabonga Blueprint and Muskan Malik.
Velocity: Mithali Raj (Captain), Veda Krishnamurthy (Vice Captain), Shaifali Verma, Sushma Verma (Wicketkeeper), Ekta Bisht, Mansi Joshi, Shikha Pandey, Devika Vaidya, Ms. Dibyadarshini, Manali Dakshini, Leigh Kasparek, Daniel White, Sun Luce , Jahanara Alam and M. Angha.
Trailblazers: Smriti Mandhana (captain), Deepti Sharma (vice captain), Poonam Raut, Richa Ghosh, D Hemlata, Nuzhat Parveen (wicketkeeper), Rajeshwari Gaikwad, Harleen Deol, Jhulan Goswami, Simran Dil Bahadur, Salma Khatoon, Sophie Ecclestone, Nathkan Chatham, Deandra Dotin and Kashvi Gautam.