In the 3rd season of Women’s T20 challenge or the Women’s IPL as some prefers to call it, Trailblazers defeated the defending champions Supernovas to clinch their 1st ever title. With the win, the Smriti Mandhana-led side also denied Supernovas a third straight title. The Harmanpreet Kaur-led side had won the first two seasons of the Women’s T20 Challenge.
Asked to bat first, Trailblazers could only manage 118 for 8 in the allotted 20 overs despite their captain Smriti Mandhana’s fine fifty. The India star scored 68 off 49 deliveries with the help of five fours and three sixes to lay the foundation for a big score.
She gave Trailblazers a fine start by adding 71 runs with Diandra Dottin for the first wicket. Mandhana scored the bulk of the runs during the partnership as Dottin managed just 20 runs. But once Mandhana was dismissed in the 15th over, Trailblazers’ innings derailed.
Radha Yadav became the first bowler in Women’s T20 challenge to pick up a five-fer
After her and Dottin, only Richa Ghosh (10) managed to touch the double-digit mark as Trailblazers failed to finish on a good note. For Supernovas, their in-form spinner Radha Yadav starred with the ball, taking five wickets for just 16 runs off her four overs. This was the first instance in Women’s T20 challenge where a bowler took a five-fer. Poonam Yadav and Shashikala Siriwardene shared the other two wickets among them.
But 118 runs turned out to be more than enough for Trailblazers as they restricted Supernovas to 102 for 7. Barring the phase when Harmanpreet Kaur and Shashikala Siriwardene were batting together and added 37 runs for the fourth wicket, Supernovas never really looked in contention. But the star of the 2nd innings was the first Thai women in Women’s T20 Challenge – Nattakan Chantam. Apart from taking a splendid catch in the inner circle, she made a save of the tournament at the boundary line that made the headlines.
They lost wickets at regular intervals and thus their innings never got the impetus. Harmanpreet top-scored for her side, scoring 30 off 36 balls. Rodrigues, Taniya and Siriwardene tried their hands at stitching a partnership but failed to do so. For Trailblazers, Salma Khatun was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3 for 18 off her four overs while Deepti Sharma took 2 for 9. Sophie Ecclestone picked up the other wicket.