Jemimah Rodrigues is one of the rising superstars of women’s cricket. A gifted batter, she can take any attack apart, relying more on timing than power.
The 18-year-old did that in style at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Thursday night. Riding on her brilliant, unbeaten 77 off just 48 balls, Supernovas, in a must-win game, defeated Velocity by 12 runs and entered the final of the Women’s T20 Challenge.
In the summit clash on Saturday, the two teams will square off again.
Supernovas, Velocity and Trailblazers ended with two points each after the league phase, winning a game apiece, and finished in that order when the net run-rate was applied.
Put in, Supernovas made a competitive 142 for three, thanks mostly to the splendid knock from Jemimah. The target wasn’t beyond Velocity’s reach, especially if someone like Danielle Wyatt got going.
And the English batter, who has had a good record on Indian pitches, did threaten to play a big innings. She hit a couple of sixes early on and was looking good when she was bowled, trying to slog-sweep leg-spinner Poonam Yadav.
A lot had depended on her, especially after the openers Hayley Matthews and Shafali Verma, the 15-year-old who had do so well just a day ago against Trailblazers, were back in the hut by the fourth over.
Mithali Raj (39 not out) and Veda Krishnamuthy (21 not out) put on 43 for the unfinished fourth wicket, but they didn’t bat at a pace brisk enough to post what would have been a commendable victory.
Jemimah probably played one of the finest innings of her young career and delighted the crowd, in excess of 7,000, which had turned up. Her knock contained some absolutely exquisite shots.
The two drives off the successive balls she played early on against seamer Komal Zanzad – first through the covers and then straight past the bowler – were particularly impressive. As was the lone six of the Supernovas innings she hit, walking down the wicket and dispatching seamer Jahanara Alam over mid-wicket.
Supernovas’ innings was built around her two partnerships with opener Chamari Atapattu (31) and Sophie Devine (9), with whom she added 55 and 50 for the second and third wickets respectively.
She easily outshone her more seasoned partners, both known for their big hitting (Devine holds the record for the fastest fifty in women’s T20I).
th10 score women
Priya Punia c Veda b Shikha 16 (16b, 2×4), Chamari Atapattu st Shafali b Kerr 31 (38b, 5×4), Jemimah Rodrigues (not out) 77 (48b, 10×4, 1×6), Sophie Devine c Mithali b Kerr 9 (14b), Harmanpreet Kaur (not out) 1 (5b); Extras (b-1, lb-1, nb-1, w-5): 8; Total (for three wickets in 20 overs): 142.
FALL OF WICKETS
1-29 (Priya, 4.4 overs), 2-84 (Chamari, 12.3), 3-134 (Devine, 18.3).
Shikha Pandey 4-0-17-1, Jahanara Alam 4-0-34-0, Komal Zanzad 3-0-29-0, Hayley Matthews 1-0-8-0, Ekta Bisht 4-0-31-0, Amelia Kerr 4-0-21-2.
Hayley Matthews lbw b Anuja 11 (12b, 2×4), Shafali Verma b Radha 2 (4b), Danielle Wyatt b Poonam Yadav 43 (33b, 4×4, 2×6), Mithali Raj (not out) 40 (42b, 3×4), Veda Krishnamurthy (not out) 30 (29b, 3×4); Extras (w-4): 4; Total (for three wickets in 20 overs): 130.
FALL OF WICKETS
1-7 (Shafali, 2.1), 2-21 (Matthews, 3.3), 3-77 (Wyatt, 11.3).
Radha Yadav 4-0-30-1, Anuja Patil 4-0-28-1, Natalie Sciver 2-0-18-0, Sophie Devine 4-0-25-0, Poonam Yadav 4-0-13-1, Harmanpreet Kaur 2-0-16-0.
Supernovas won by 12 runs.