Women’s T20 Challenge: Didn’t think to get close to the target at all, says Laura Wolvaardt

Despite losing their top three of Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia and Kiran Navgire, Velocity were kept in the hunt of chasing 166 against Supernovas, thanks to Laura Wolvaardt bringing her rich experience to the fore while being unconquered on 65 off 40 balls.

Laura and Simran Bahadur (20 not out off 10 balls) put on an unbeaten 44-run stand for the ninth wicket, bringing Velocity back in the match and setting up an exciting end to the Women’s T20 Challenge.

Though left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone defended 16 runs in the final over to seal the trophy for Supernovas.

After the match, Laura admitted in the post-match virtual press conference that she didn’t expect Velocity to come very close to the target.

“At 10 overs, I didn’t think we’d get close to the target at all. We needed like 90 off 40-something at one stage. When Simran came out, I didn’t expect her to play like that at all. I’ve never batted with her before. It was incredible. It was really good to see her play that way. We were trying to get as close as we can.”

Asked about why she came out to bat at five, the right-handed batter explained, “The plan was for me to come in after the powerplay was over. Those three batters – Kiran, Yastika and Shafali – would try and maximise the powerplay as much as they could and then I would come in the middle phase to rotate it a bit.”

“That was always the plan. Kiran batted incredibly in the game before, it is unfortunate it didn’t come off today (0 off 13 balls on Saturday). I would have loved to see some fireworks from her again today (in the final).”

Laura, who has represented South Africa in 74 ODIs and 33 T20Is, revealed that she has been working hard on making improvements to her leg-side game for some time, especially in the shortest format of the game.

“The leg-side game is something I’ve been working on a lot. Especially now in T20 cricket, the teams put out the long-off and deep extra-cover as well. It kind of takes away my extra-cover power game. So, I have to think of different options. So, I’m glad I got one or two over long-on.”

Laura further heaped praise on Supernovas all-rounder Deandra Dottin, who had a memorable final with a 44-ball 62 and picked 2/28 with her medium pace to take the Player of the Match as well as Player of the Series final.

“She’s an incredible cricketer; an incredible T20 player. So powerful with the bat and bowls really well. She bowled really well today, especially upfront. She had a lot change-ups, variations and was going bouncers, Yorkers. It was hard to predict what she was doing.”

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