The women’s T20 Challenger trophy got off to an exciting start with the India Red’s captain Deepti Sharma leading by example to secure a seven wicket win over Mithali Raj’s India Blues.
India Red on winning the toss chose to field first. The decision played great dividends when Shannti Kumari struck early in the 4th over to dismiss V. Vanitha for only 12 with 18 runs on the board. Mithali Raj led the batting for India Blue by scoring bulk of the runs. She scored a run a ball 51. However, she kept on loosing partners at the other end. On fall of Mithali’s wicket, India Blues could only manage another 15 runs and lost 5 wickets in the space of 20 deliveries.
The pick of the bowlers for India Reds were the skipper Deepti Sharma (4-15-2) and T Kanwer (4-16-2) who both picked up 2 wickets a piece. The India Reds bowlers were disciplined in their bowling and their cause was helped by Blues batsmen who also lost 3 wickets to run-outs managing 100/8 in their allocated 20 overs.
The chase for the target of 101 runs was anchored by the skipper Deepti Sharma (45* off 44) who despite losing partners at regular intervals anchored the innings and ensured that the Reds got off to a winning start to their campaign. India Blues were in the game at half way stage with India Red only managing 44 runs for the loss of 3 wickets in 10 overs. Anuja Patil, Mansi Joshi and Radha Yadav picked up a wicket a piece to keep the India Blue in hunt.
However, a 35 runs partnership between Mona Meshram (14*) and Deepti Sharma ensured the victory for India Red when the rain Gods finally arrived as India Red won by VJD method by 7 runs. India Red were 79/3 off 16.3 overs with the par score being 72 runs.
India Blue will take on Veda Krishnamurthy led India Green tomorrow and hope for a much improved performance by their middle order batsmen and more support for the skipper Mithali Raj to register their first win of the tournament.
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