Playing XI of India Blue - Smriti Mandhana (c), VR Vanitha, Neena Choudhary, D Hemlatha, Mona Meshram, Tanushree Sarkar, Tania Bhatia (wk), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Radha Yadav, Pooja Vastrakar and Soni Yadav; resting Jhulan Goswami and Pratyusha C.
Playing XI of India Red – Deepti Sharma, Priya Punia, Mithali Raj (c), Bharti Fulmali, Neha Tanwar, Sushma Verma (wk), Priyanka Priyadarshini, TP Kanwar, Poonam Yadav, Sukanya Parida and Manali Dakshini; resting Nishu Choudhary and Mansi Joshi.
Toss – Won by India Blue and elected to field first, Smriti Mandhana seemed to utilise the morning pitch conditions favourable to fast bowlers.
Ist Innings Summary – India Red opened up with Priya Punia and Deepti Sharma (shift in her batting position as she bats at 5th or 6th position in national team) while Soni Yadav and Pooja Vastrakar (her 1st Challenger Series) commenced with their pace attack from both ends. But after being hit for consecutive 4’s in 6th over, Yadav was replaced by spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad in the 8th over. Pooja bowling an excellent spell on the other end with a maiden 9th over. At the end of 10 overs, India Red scoreboard read 41/0.
Tanushree Sarkar took her 1st wicket in her very 1st over and removed Punia in 11th over. India Red skipper Mithali Raj came out to bat at No 3 position and the team reached 72/1 in 20 overs. Meanwhile Gayakwad bowled a commendable spell. Deepti Sharma by run out in 21st over and soon after her, Bharti was also got out cheaply as India Red was 91/3 in 27 overs.
Neha Tanwar became the 2nd victim of Radha Yadav as she was stumped out by the India Blue keeper. Sushma Verma came in to bat at No 6 position and the 100runs mark came up in 33rd over. A well deserved half century came up for Raj in 39th over but she was unable to get the required support from the other end as wickets were falling at regular intervals. Sukanya Parida came in to bed after Sushma got out in 42nd over. Next on eto get out was Inida Blue skipper as the team stood at 172/6 after 45 overs. Parida and Priyanka got run out in 46th over and the entire team was ‘run out’ in 49.5overs.
Why we term it to be ‘run out’ because there were four run outs in the India Red batting innings.
2nd Innings Summary – India Blue innings began with a maiden over by Sukanya Parida. The innings was opened by captain Smriti Mandhana and VR Vanitha. Deepti Sharma bowled from the other end. Vanitha hit Deepti for the 1st six of the match in 4th over itself. 1st bowling change was made in 6th over, Manali Dakshini replacing Sharma. While Vanitha was hitting the ball very hard, Smriti played some soft yet glorious shots.
2nd six came off Vanitha’s bat in 9th over and India Blue reached 46/0 at the end of first powerplay. Raj made another bowling change by introducing Priyanka Priyadarshini and Tanuja Kanwar into the attack. Soon, 50 runs came up for the batting side with maximum contribution of Vani. By now, she had already hit three sixes.
But, Vanitha was the first player of India Blue to get out on the first ball of 15th over and Poonam Yadav was the wicket-taker. In 16th over Neena Choudary got a huge outside edge but was mistakenly not given out by the field umpire. Mandhana was batting brilliantly on the other end hitting four consecutive fours in 18th over of Priyanka.
After 20 overs, India Blue were 94/1 i.e. 20 runs ahead of their counterparts. 100-runs mark came up in 24th over and Smriti reached her half century in 26th over. After Neena’s dismissal, Mandhana and Mona Meshram did a 51-run partnership off 72 balls at the end of 38 overs. A brilliant six came off the skipper’s bat in 44th over and India Blue reached the required target in 46.1 overs with captain Smriti Mandhana hitting the winning runs as she completed her century as well.
After today’s loss, it would be a must win game for Mithali Raj led India Red when they play against India Green in their next match. Well, a much deserved win for India Blue as they dominated throughout the match.