After the sun rose in the chilling year, the women made a return to the field. Although this return was not in blue, the girls were out to take part in the much-anticipated Women’s Senior T20 challengers’ trophy.
The tournament was held in Cuttack where cricket fans had a feast in the Barabati stadium. Top Indian players from all regions of the country were divided into three teams namely India A, India B and India C. From its start on 4th January, the tournament had a relevant buzz wrapped around all the matches. Players like Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana brought the eyes of fans to the grounds.
However, like any other successful tournament, this conquest was not only about the known and established names. New faces and new names came and showed their resilience to capture the stage. India A was led by the Indian all-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur. The side had the likes of Priya Puniya for batting with magical Spinner Radha tossing her spinners. Behind the wickets was Taniya Bhatia.
Priya Puniya was impressive with her bat and scored the second-highest runs in the tournament. Radha, on the other hand, took 5 wickets in 3 matches. The team, however, had an unfortunate start with the first match abandoned with the wet outfield. The first encounter for Team A had Team C standing against them. A low scoring match saw the best of all-round performance from Deepti Sharma. The match went down and eventually went to India C with a small margin of mere 10 runs.
With no time to rest, the team faced India B in their next faceoff. With 140 to chase, the batsman failed by 35 runs. However, Deepti Sharma came handy with the bat again. With two consecutive losses, the team faced India C on the 9th. With a blistering 60 odd knock, Priya had her team jumping in hopes only to see the match slip by 2 runs. India B and India C were the finalists.
India C saw the birth and heroics of Shafali with the bat. Arundhati Reddy and Rajeshwari Gayakwad were amongst the top performers with the ball. Both teams remained undefeated against India A. Nevertheless, they had faced each other thrice and the pundits had pointed towards India B in the finals with the two wins against India C in the early stages.
let us take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate this young talent from India🔥🔥Shafali Verma who scored 89* in just 48 balls today.
Her tournament stat reads:
– Most Runs – 189
– Highest Score – 89*
– Highest sr – 156.20
– Most fours – 31
– Most Sixes – 5 pic.twitter.com/XM2E2aBW72
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) January 10, 2020
Players like Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav facing Veda Krishnamurthy and Arundhati Reddy meant a tight contest. One of the matches went to the gap of 4 runs. The excitement for the finals was in the skies. Shafali Verma was in the news throughout the tournament and was the center of the tournament. She was the highest scorer in the tournament adding 189 to her tally. Rajeshwari Gayakawad was the top wicket-taker with 8 batters surrendering to her.
10th saw the finals with India B and India C facing each other. The 15-year-old star Shafali got the cameras to her with a fast 89 off 48 balls. India C rode on her bravery and lifted the trophy. The Challengers Trophy was unlike any other tournament for the ladies. Not only it gifted a new platform to the less attended domestic circuit of women’s cricket, but it gave them new faces for the future. New names have made their places in streets and it would be no miracle to see people chattering about the ladies.
To roundup, here are some stats from the Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy 2020
1. Most Runs
|Player Name||Runs Scored (Innings)|
|Shafali Verma||189 (5)|
|Priya Punia||119 (3)|
|Pooja Vastrakar||99 (4)|
|Richa Ghosh||98 (4)|
2. Most Wickets
|Player Name||Wickets (Innings)|
|Rajeshwari Gayakwad||8 (5)|
|Sushree Dibyadarshini||7 (4)|
|Arundhati Reddy||6 (5)|
|Radha Yadav||5 (3)|
3. Most 4s
|Player Name||4s (Innings)|
|Shafali Verma||31 (5)|
|Priya Punia||16 (3)|
|Richa Ghosh||13 (4)|
|Veda Krishnamurthy||13 (5)|
4. Most 6s
|Player Name||6s (Innings)|
|Shafali Verma||5 (5)|
|Pooja Vastrakar||4 (4)|
|Shikha Pandey||2 (3)|
|Vanitha VR||2 (4)|
5. Highest Strike-Rate
|Player Name||SR (Innings)|
|Shafali Verma||156.19 (5)|
|Pooja Vastrakar||154.68 (4)|
|Smriti Mandhana||136.73 (4)|
|Veda Krishnamurthy||135.38 (5)|
A student who enjoys studying cricket more than anything else, keen to learn the insights of the women’s game.