Women’s T20 Challenge: Supernovas eye hat-trick after dramatic win over Trailblazers
The defending champions and two-time winners pull off two-run victory off the last ball
A hat-trick of Women’s T20 Challenge titles awaits the Supernovas after they pulled off a thrilling victory against the Trailblazers in Sharjah on Saturday night.
The defending champions and two-time winners held their nerves against the backdrop of a Trailblazers rearguard to nick a sensational two-run win off the last ball, in the final league fixture at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
In a game which ebbed and flowed, left-arm spinner Radha Yadav kept her cool and composure in the final over with the Trailblazers requiring 10 runs. It was still anybody’s for the taking with four needed from two balls but Radha ended Harleen Deol’s cameo off the penultimate ball before she foxed Sophie Ecclestone.
The 20-year-old went round the wicket and slipped it down the leg side as Ecclestone gave her the charge. And unfortunately, for the Englishwoman, Trailblazers’ bowling star in the massive win against Velocity, couldn’t make contact as it hit her pads.
The two teams will face each other again in the final to be played on Monday, a day before the IPL title tilt. Velocity, captained by Mithali Raj, will pack their bags and return home.
“It was very close, but hats off to our bowlers,” Supernovas captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who is also the Indian women’s T20 skipper, said at the post-match presentation.
Kaur’s opposite number Smriti Mandhana, felt it was a wonderful effort by her team to get them close after the Trailblazers were precariously placed at 91-4 in 15 overs.
“The way it went in the last two or three overs, I think the girls did really well to get us close. Nevertheless, the way Deepti and Harleen took it to the last ball, it was a great effort,” said Mandhana, who made 33 during the chase..
Sri Lankan all-rounder Chamari Atapattu, who powered her way to a half-century and was adjudged the Player of the Match, said: “It's a must win game and I had to score runs. I am a senior player in the side. So, I just went out there and played my normal game. We are a champion side. We know how to win games.”
Earlier, Atapattu, who had made 44 in the defeat against Velocity in the opening match of the tournament, conjured a powerful 48-ball 67 which was studded with five boundaries and four cleanly struck sixes as the Supernovas made 146 for 6.
Opting to take first strike, Atapattu and her opening partner Priya Punia gave the Supernovas a brilliant start, coming up with an 89-run partnership.
Although they slowed down after the first 10 overs, the Supernovas still managed to put up a competitive total.
Atapattu and Punia were solid upfront, with the Supernovas racing to 50 for no loss in the powerplay.
But the Supernovas floundered a little bit once Punia and Atapattu got out. Supernovas skipper and Indian women’s T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur made a sedate 31 from 29 deliveries with a four and a six before she was run out off the last ball.
Supernovas: 146-6 in 20 overs (Chamari Atapattu 67, Harmanpreet Kaur 31, Priya Punia 30) beat Trailblazers: 144-5 in 20 overs (Deepti Sharma 43 not out, Smriti Mandhana 33, Deandra Dottin 27, Harleen Deol 27, Radha Yadav 2-30, Shakera Selman 2-31) by 2 runs.
Supernovas: Priya Punia, Chamari Atapattu, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Taniya Bhatia (wk), Shashikala Siriwardene, Radha Yadav, Anuja Patil, Poonam Yadav, Shakera Selman, Ayabonga Khaka.
Trailblazers: Deandra Dottin, Smriti Mandhana (C), Richa Ghosh (wk), Deepti Sharma, D Hemalatha, Harleen Deol, Nattakan Chantam, Salma Khatun, Sophie Ecclestone, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami.
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