Final: Trailblazers pip Supernovas to win maiden Women’s T20 Challenge Title

We have new champions this year, as Smriti Mandhana led Trailblazers got the better of defending champions Supernovas on Monday.

 

Trailblazers - Women's T20 Challenge 2020 Winners
Trailblazers – Women’s T20 Challenge 2020 Winners. PC: IPL 2020

Summary

Winning the toss and electing to field first, Supernovas restricted Trailblazers to a chaseable 118-8 in 20 overs. The Trailblazers got off to a flying start, courtesy the swashbuckling opening pair of Deandra Dottin (20) and Smriti Mandhana (68). The duo put together 71 in just 11.1 overs, with the latter being the aggressor of the two. The southpaw laced her innings with five boundaries and three maximums. After a solid start, the middle order failed to deliver as the rest of the batters could manage just another 47 runs in the remaining nine overs. Left arm spinner Radha Yadav wrecked-havoc with her five-wicket haul and was instrumental in the opposition’s batting collapse. Yadav completed her spell with the figures of 5-16 in four overs.

The Harmanpreet Kaur-led side would have been pleased with the comeback they made to tame the Trailblazers, who were looking good to go past 150. Chasing 119 would have otherwise been a cakewalk for the two-time champions, but it was just not their day with the bat. Fresh from a brilliant half-century, the onus of the batting rested on the shoulders of Chamari Atapaththu. However, she fell cheaply in the second over. Jemimah Rodrigues (13), Taniya Bhatia (14), and Shashikala Siriwardene (19) got off to starts but failed to capitalize. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur looked to carry her team to their third title, but she perished in the 19th over while trying to take on Salma Khatun. In the end, Supernovas could only manage 102-8 in 20 overs, thus falling short of 16 runs. Khatun was the pick of the bowlers as she scalped 3-18 in her four overs.

The week-long extravaganza has come to an end but it has definitely lifted the spirits of not only the players but also the fans.

Brief Scores:

Trailblazers 118-8 in 20 overs (S Mandhana 68, D Dottin 20; R Yadav 5-16) beat Supernovas 102-7 in 20 overs (H Kaur 30, S Siriwardene 19; S Khatun 3-18, D Sharma 2-9) by 16 runs

Here’s what the Players had to say:

Smriti Mandhana | Winning skipper | Player of the Match: The first one-two months of the lockdown was good to spend time with the family. But I think in the last three-four months we got time to go out and start hitting some balls. It was a good time for all of us to go back and work on ourselves which we don’t get usually. My wicket was crucial because this wicket was tough to bat on. The set batsman needed to bat on, 140 was quite achievable and this is what I need to work on in finishing innings. I just told the girls that these are the last 20 overs of the tournament. Because of the covid situation, we don’t know when we’ll come out next, so we wanted to give it our all. It was a hard wicket to bat on and we had quality spinners. 135 would have been ideal but nevertheless, 118 was good on this wicket. This experience was amazing to go out in the nets with the overseas players and our youngsters, It was nice to exchange knowledge and cultures to see how cricket is played in their countries. It was nice for the youngsters to be able to bowl to players like Dottin before being selected into the national side.

Radha Yadav | Player of the series: It feels great to pick a fifer, but isn’t nice to not be on the winning side. It was a spinning track and the plan was to bowl the normal stock ball. I worked very hard on my bowling in the lockdown, and I think it shows. I was playing consistently even in the lockdown and I was in touch, so it didn’t feel like I was coming back after a long time.

Harmanpreet Kaur | Losing captain: The injury isn’t that bad. We couldn’t do it this time but it is part of the game and we’ll take it as a learning. It wasn’t that tough a total to chase but we just didn’t get partnerships. We needed two good partnerships, but we didn’t. It was really tough for me; while fielding only I got hurt but you have got to be there for the team. I tried my best but couldn’t win it for the team. Sitting at home was really difficult, but we have to respect the things that are going on and be safe. Yes definitely, women’s cricket is back.

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Jhulan Goswami: We planned to bowl wicket to wicket and keep it within the sticks because the wicket was keeping low. I wanted to tell Ecclestone to keep it at the sticks. She (Chantam) talks a lot. She is a great character. She is always smiling. It was good to share a dressing room with her. It was a great honor.

Deandra Dottin: Feels great and it’s good to be here. I’m playing this league for the first time and to win the trophy is awesome. To be honest, I was struggling a bit, but standing and watching Smriti bat was really good, she was hitting the ball really well.

Harleen Deol: We had lost by a close margin last time around. This time we wanted to beat them. We had simple plans. We didn’t want to complicate it too much. We had played against them before. The wicket was keeping a little low and was slow.

Sophie Ecclestone: I think it was a great win, we are a great team and we showed our true potential. Nothing better to have than two (Dottin and Mandhana) of the best openers in the world. It’s amazing to be bowling with this great bunch of girls.

Deepti Sharma: I worked a lot during the lock-down especially on my batting and bowling as well. I just tried to execute my best today. We are well aware of what to bowl to which batter and we bowled according to the plan. The wicket was slow and low and we tried to bowl in the right areas.

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Quotes are sourced from Cricbuzz

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