Summary: Match 5: Priya Punia’s 60 in vain as Captain Veda guides India C to the Finals

A do or die game for India A meant that they had to come out all guns blazing forgetting whatever happened in their previous two games.

India C fresh on the back of a win against the same opposition were fairly more relaxed as compared to their counterparts. Also winning the toss and batting first by India C captain Veda Krishnamurty was the ideal beginning that they could have got in this encounter.

Veda Krishnamurthy
Veda Krishnamurthy

India A captain Harmanpreet Kaur surprised everyone by introducing left-arm spinner Radha Yadav into the attack straight away against the likes of the dynamic Shafali Verma and she didn’t disappoint her captain. Enticing Shafali to play across the line, Shafali top-edged the delivery straight into the hands of Radha herself and India A drew first blood. India C Opener Madhuri Mehta (36 off 32) along with wicket-keeper batter Nuzhat Parween (26 off 32) played some exquisite strokes to make up for the early loss of wicket providing a steady partnership for the 2nd wicket before India A’s Meghna Singh picked up the wicket of Nuzhat Parween and Radha Yadav struck again to pick Madhuri Mehta.

With 67/3 at the end of 12.2 overs, India C were in a spot of bother as they needed a solid finish to put up a match-winning total on the board. Captain Veda Krishnamurthy rose to the occasion playing a swashbuckling inning of 47 off 29 at a strike rate of 162.07 providing the finishing touches to the innings and taking the score to 135/4 in 20 overs. As many as 7 bowlers were used by India A but only Radha Yadav could make an impact with figures of 4 overs 3 wickets giving away just 23 runs.

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Coming to the chase, India A got off to a magnificent start with Wicket keeper Taniya Bhatia (31 off 19) playing some outrageous shots to set the tempo of the innings along with Priya Puniya (60 off 44) putting up 49 runs for the first wicket. Captain Hamanpreet Kaur (13 off 24) once again couldn’t convert her start and got dismissed by an off-cutter from Arundathi Reddy (4 overs 29 runs 3 wickets). Priya Puniya in the process became the first batter to score a half-century in this edition of the Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy and was the lone warrior fighting it out for India A. But she too fell to a flighted delivery off Rajeshwari Gaikwad ( 4 overs 3 wickets, 28 runs) when the game was in India A’s grasp needing 28 runs from 26 balls.

Priya’s wicket led to a series of wickets thereon and India A collapsed completely losing 9 wickets in totality and falling just 2 runs short of their eventual target. This loss now means that India A crashes out of the tournament and will not be able to make it to the final. India C has qualified for the finals with one game in hand and will face India B on the 10th for the all-important tournament decider.

Brief Scores: Ind C: 135/4 (20 overs) Ind A: 133/9 (20 overs) Ind C won the match by 2 runs

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