The Supernovas were one step away from laying their hands on their third Women’s T20 Challenge title on Monday. However, they had a stiff challenge in the form of Smriti Mandhana’s Trailblazers in their way. And as it turned out, the Trailblazers halted the Supernovas quest to clinch a treble by winning their maiden title by 16 runs. Mandhana’s excellent knock of 68(49) and collective brilliance from the spinners proved to be enough for the Trailblazers. Radha Yadav’s fifer proved to be futile however she did have something to cheer about as she was adjudged Player of the Series.
Smriti Mandhana – a class apart
On a pitch when almost every other player looked at sea while batting, Mandhana stole the show with yet another elegant knock. Being put in to bat by the Supernovas, Mandhana took her time to get her eye in but once she got her timing right, runs started to flow. However, she did not have anyone to provide a helping hand. The Caribbean powerhouse, Deandra Dottin could not find her mojo as she managed to score just 20 runs off 32 balls. Mandhana’s innings was studded with five fours and three sixes, with almost every shot being an epitome of perfect timing. Wickets fell from the other end and this process got accelerated once the skipper fell. Radha provided all the flight to the ball and with no pace to work with, the batsmen failed to clear the ropes. The Trailblazers scrambled to 118 in their quota of 20 overs, with Radha inflicting maximum damage.
Harmanpreet’s injury woes and a clinical show by the Trailblazers’ spinners
Bangladesh’s experienced spinner, Salma Khatun applied the required breaks to the Supernovas’ chase. Her haul of three wickets included that of the Supernovas’ skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur and Sri Lankan legend, Shashikala Siriwardene. Chamari Athapaththu fell early after the Trailblazers opted for a review so early in the innings. The umpire’s decision got overturned as Sophie Ecclestone caught the big fish for just 6. Jemimah Rodrigues, who had two poor outings, tried to rebuild the innings but she was caught brilliantly by the young sensation from Thailand, Nattakan Chantam off the bowling of Deepti Sharma. Chantam’s athleticism was on full display as she dived around to save some crucial runs for her team. One such save at the boundary will definitely be cherished for a long time. Supernovas did not have anything going well for them and Harmanpreet’s injury added to their concerns. The Supernovas’ skipper struggled, limping in between as she managed to score 30 runs, which was never going to be enough. The Supernovas could not foster any significant partnership as the Trailblazers prevailed over them.
Brief Scores: Trailblazers (Smriti Mandhana 68(49), Radha Yadav 5-16) defeated Supernovas ( Harmanpreet Kaur 30 (36), Salma Khatun 3-18, Deepti Sharma 2-9) by 16 runs.