Women’s T20 Challenge Series has got their new champions in the form of ‘Trailblazers‘. Smriti Mandhana and girls have lifted the Women’s T20 Challenge trophy in Sharjah on Monday.
The final match of the Women’s T20 Challenge 2020 or ‘Mini IPL’ was played between Trailblazers and Supernovas on Sharjah Cricket Stadium in which Smriti Mandhana and Co won the match by 16 runs and wrote history.
The two previous seasons of the series were won by Harmanpreet Kaur-led Supernovas so in that case, this series has got their new champions in the form of ‘Trailblazers’.
Earlier in the match, Supernovas’ captain Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and elected to bowl first. Trailblazers, batting first, posted 118 runs losing 8 wickets in the allotted 20 overs.
Captain Smriti Mandhana was the leading run scorer for the team. She smashed 68 runs off 49 deliveries with the help of five fours and three sixes. Deandra Dottin smashed 20 runs off 32 balls, while Richa Ghosh was dismissed for 10 runs.
Supernovas key bowler Radha Yadav bowled brilliantly on Monday. She took 5 wicket in her 4 overs quota and had conceded only 16 runs. Poonam Yadav and Shashikala Siriwardene got 1 wickets each.
Chasing 119 runs, the Supernovas did not get a good start, while captain Harmanpreet Kaur was also injured while taking runs during the match. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur scored 30 runs, while Shashikala Siriwardene was out for 19, Taniya Bhatia scored 14 and Jemimah Rodrigues could score only 13 runs. Salma Khatun was the leading wicket taker from Trailblazers as she took 3 wickets.
It was the third season of the Women’s T20 Challenge. Earlier in the year 2018, only one match was played, which was won by Supernovas. At the same time, four matches were played in the year 2019 including the final in which Supernovas won the title defeating Velocity. And finally in 2020, we have got our new champion in the form of Smriri Mandhana-led Trailblazers.
Losing Skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur’s Reaction:
“The injury – it’s not that bad but it’s a great learning for us. It wasn’t that tough a total to chase, but we didn’t get any partnerships. You need at least two good partnerships. It was very difficult, because I got hurt while fielding. I tried my best, but it wasn’t enough in the end. Sitting at home was very difficult, we have to respect whatever conditions are going on. We have to be very particular and be safe, whether we are playing or not.”
Winning Skipper & Player of the Match, Smriti Mandhana’s Reaction:
“We had this just post the World Cup, and we were looking forward to just taking some rest. But we didn’t realise the rest will go this long. First two-three months at home were good, but once the lockdown was eased, we got the chance to go the ground and hit some balls. I think it was a good time to go back and work on our basics. I gave my wicket away! No my wicket was crucial because this is a difficult wicket to bat on, and whoever is set had to bat till the 18th over or so. 130 or 140 would have been a good total, and maybe 145 would have been a good total if I had batted on. I just told the girls these are the last 20 overs, and we don’t know when we’ll get to play again. If we bowl 20 good overs, we’ll win. From the first ball, I felt we could do it. We have some quality spinners. 135 would have been amazing, but 118 was also a good total on this wicket. It was amazing to get to the net with the overseas players, and our youngsters. It was good to get some knowledge and exchange notes. For the youngsters, getting to hear from a Dottin is a headstart before you even make it to the national team.”