The 2022 edition of the Women’s T20 Challenge culminated on Saturday and like its predecessors, it threw up plenty of exciting cricket. The Supernovas began the season with a bang before being halted by Velocity. The Trailblazers then had a shot at qualifying but missed out due to an inferior Net Run Rate. In simpler words, drama was not at a premium.
In the summit clash, the Supernovas battled Velocity, with the former ultimately triumphing by 4 runs. It was a contest that summed up everything good about women’s cricket, considering neither side wanted to give the other an inch and kept fighting until the last ball.
As always, this season of the Women’s T20 Challenge also saw several standout performers, making our task of choosing the best eleven particularly difficult. But akin to the heart these cricketers have shown throughout the Women’s T20 Challenge, we are going to take up this mantle, hoping to put forward an eleven that covers most bases and would give any international outfit a run for its money.
Without further ado, here is a look at the Women’s T20 Challenge Team of the Season.
Women’s T20 Challenge team of the tournament
Openers – S Meghana and Shafali Verma (wk)
For some reason, Meghana was dropped for the Trailblazers’ opening fixture against the Supernovas. The Trailblazers, rather unsurprisingly, struggled with the bat and folded – a defeat that severely dented their hopes of retaining the title. In the very next game, Meghana did everything in her power to portray how the Trailblazers had botched up by excluding her.
She powered the ball down the ground. Sat deep in her crease and slashed the ball past point. And more importantly, showed an inclination to not let the opposition settle. It was, in many ways, congruent to what Shafali Verma did for Velocity.
Shafali notched up a match-winning fifty against the Supernovas in the group stage and while she couldn’t follow it up with a similar display in the final, she still did enough throughout the tournament to make herself a shoo-in. Oh, and Shafali will also be keeping wickets in this side, having done so for Haryana primarily in the 2018-19 domestic season.
Meghana and Shafali walking out together? Well, it might not be long before it happens for India too.
So happy to see S. Meghana at the top as she hits the ball so well down the ground. A real star
Middle order – Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Laura Wolvaardt, Deandra Dottin
The middle order is very flexible in that any of these cricketers could also bat in the top three. Each has had a stellar Women’s T20 Challenge campaign in 2022 and while they might be slotted a little out of position, it would’ve been unfair had they not been included altogether.
Jemimah saw her teammates wilt under pressure in the first game. She still tried her best but it was in the next encounter that she came into her own, smashing a half-century and enthralling everyone with her graceful stroke-play.
Harmanpreet and Wolvaardt were the lynchpins of their respective batting units. The South African, who enjoyed a stunning 2022 Women’s World Cup, was in prime form in the Women’s T20 Challenge too, scoring 133 runs at a stunning strike rate of 146.15. Harmanpreet, meanwhile, was the leading run-getter at the Women’s T20 Challenge.
The other batter to score more 100 runs or more in the Women’s T20 Challenge 2022 was Dottin. She didn’t come to the party until the final but when she did, she single-handedly won the Supernovas the title. She, alongside Harmanpreet, will also be key bowlers in this line-up.