Mandhana 68, Khatun 3 wickets Trailblazers beat Supernova became the new champion of Women’s T20.

Supernovas captain Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and opted to bowl first against Trailblazers in the final of the Women’s T20 Challenge 2020 in Sharjah on Monday (November 9).

Supernovas are playing Pooja Vastrakar in place of Priya Punia. Meanwhile, Trailblazers have replaced Dayalan Hemalatha with Nuzhat Parween.

Harmanpreet: We will bowl first. We wanted to chase in the last two games and today have we got that opportunity. We felt it’s not that easy to bat in the first innings and that’s the reason behind the decision. No pressure. I told my players to just go and enjoy as we are not sure when we are gonna play next. We just want to keep playing.

Mandhana: I would have batted first today and I’m happy losing the toss, it’s important that we got what we want. A lot of takeaways from the other game, good to have run on the board and see how the bowlers do in the chase.

Siriwardene was the one who kept Mandhana in check and also had her stumped in the 15th over. Mandhana smacked five fours and three sixes in her 49-ball 68 but was dismissed at a crucial juncture of the game.

Trailblazers kept losing wickets as they could only manage 17 runs in the last five overs. Trailblazers collapsed from 101/1 to 118/8 in their 20 overs.

Radha Yadav became the first bowler to take a five-wicket haul in the history of the Women’s T20 Challenge.

Trailblazers needed early wickets, especially of Chamari Athapaththu. The leading run-getter of the tournament could have easily killed the game in few overs but the top-ranked T20I bowler Sophie Ecclestone sent her back to the hut only in the second over. After being swept for four, the left-arm spinner pinned Athapaththu (6) right in front of the stumps with a quicker one.

With Priya Punia not playing, Jemimah Rodrigues was sent out to open the innings, while Taniya Bhatia too was promoted to No. 3. Trailblazers were not going down without a fight and they didn’t allow Rodrigues and Bhatia to score freely.

Harmanpreet was limping but didn’t find much support from Patil (8). The required rate kept getting higher and higher and despite trying their best, Harmanpreet and Patil failed to get those boundaries.

With 28 needed off 12, Khatun bowled a tremendous penultimate over and also knocked over Harmanpreet for a 36-ball 30. The offspinner from Bangladesh finished with figures of 3/18, while the other bowlers also did a fantastic job. Supernovas fell 16 runs short as Trailblazers won the Women’s T20 Challenge for the first time.

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.

  Smriti Mandhana Player of the Match(livesportcentre.com)

Smriti Mandhana Player of the Match(BCCI/IPL)

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.

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.

Radha Yadav became the first bowler to take a five-wicket haul(livesportcentre.com)
Radha Yadav became the first bowler to take a five-wicket haul(BCCI/IPL)

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 honour.

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.

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