The first Women’s T20 League encounter on Monday had a nail biting finish that went down to the last over, with the Supernovas falling three runs short of Trailblazers’ target. Batting first, the Smrit Mandhana’s led side had scored 140 runs as the skipper lead from the front with a 90 run innings.
In the first game of the Women’s T20 League at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, Supernovas had won the toss and put Trailblazers in to bat.
Skipper Smriti Mandhana and Suzie Bates came out to open the innings but the latter did not last long as she was dismissed for one run by Anuja Patil in the second over. After two boundaries in the first over, the next boundary came only in the fifth over, followed by the next one in the ninth over. The score stood at 52 for one after ten overs with Mandana and Deol at 25 off 29 and 21 off 27 respectively. Nevertheless, Mandhana picked up pace after her fifty in the 14th over as she scored 38 runs of her last 20 balls. The Trailblazers were at 127 before the start of the 18th and had nine wickets in hand but they failed to get going in the death overs as they finally lost the wicket of Harleen Deol for 36 in 44 deliveries in the 18th over, followed by the wickets of Mandhana, Deepti Sharma and Stefanie Taylor, who was run out, in the final over bowled by Radha Yadav. They eventually set a target of 141 for the Supernovas to chase.
In reply, even the 2018 winners had a similar start as they lost their opener Priya Punia for one run in the second over bowled by Sophie Ecclestone. But their second wicket partnership was not very similar as number three Jemimah Rodrigues was dismissed for 24 in 19 balls by Shakera Selman, who had dropped three catches earlier, in the final delivery of the seventh over. Rajeshwari Gayakwad struck twice as she dismissed opener Chamari Athapaththu for 26 runs off 34 balls in the 11th over followed by Natalie Sciver for one run in the 13th over. Sophie Devine and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur were on the crease as their side was reeling on 74 for four midway in the 12th over, with 67 runs still required in 51 balls. Devine struck two sixes and two boundaries before getting dismissed by Ecclestone for 32 runs in 22 balls in the 19th over.
The sole responsibility was on Kaur, who was batting on 30 in 28 deliveries then, to ensure that 19 runs are hit in the final over bowled by Jhulan Goswami. The India T20 skipper blasted four boundaries in the first five deliveries but failed to connect in the penultimate delivery. She still tried to snatch a single which resulted in a run out to dismiss the non-striker Lea Tahuhu for a duck. The Harmanpreet led team eventually fell short and lost the match by two runs. Mandhana was awarded the Man of the Match for her sublime knock.
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