The Trailblazers clinched their maiden Women’s T20 Challenge, a mini women IPL, by beating the Supernovas by 16 runs in the final game of the tournament at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in UAE. Indian opener Smriti Mandhana struck a half-century and Bangladesh’s Salma Khatun bagged three wickets as her side defeats the twice defending champions.
“We have some quality spinners… 135 would have been amazing, but 118 was also a good total on this wicket,” said Trailblazers captain Mandhana. “It was amazing to get to the nets 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.”
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Smriti Mandhana led from the front and shouldered the bulk of the responsibility for the team with the bat, as she scored a sublime half-century of 68 runs off 49 balls, to help them register a decent total of 118 runs in the first innings. Despite batting heroics from skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, Supernovas fell agonizingly short by 16 runs in the summit clash.
Put into bat, Smriti’s scintillating 68 off 49 balls along with Deandra Dottin’s 20, took Trailblazers to a fighting 118/8 wickets in 20 overs. It was left-arm spinner Radha Yadav’s – 5/16 – brilliant bowling effort towards the end that wreaked havoc on the Trailblazers’ middle-order as, barring Richa Ghosh -10, the other batswomen failed to touch the double-digit mark.
Radha became the first player to claim a five-wicket haul in the history of the Women’s T20 Challenge. The three-team women’s tournament was held in the United Arab Emirates alongside the men’s Indian Premier League (IPL), which will host its final between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals. The two teams have faced each other 27 times in the IPL so far.
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