Women’s T20 Challenge: Mandhana 90 powers Trailblazers to 2-run win over Supernovas

Trailblazers defeated Supernovas by just 2 runs in the first match of the Women’s T20 Challenge at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday.

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur tried her best to take Supernovas across the finishing line with an unbeaten 46 from 34 balls. But it was the experience of Jhulan Goswami that helped Trailblazers get the first win if the three-team tournament.

Supernovas started their chase slowly after Sophie Ecclestone dismissed opener Priya Punia in just the second over of the innings.

Jemimah Rodrigues joined Sri Lankan Chamari Athapaththu in the middle and the pair struck a good partnership for the second wicket. Jemimah and Athapaththu rotated the strike and hit the occasional boundary.

But a brilliant piece of fielding from West Indian Shakera Selman on her followthrough, sent the Indian youngster back, for a well made 24.

Chamari Athapaththu followed her back to the dugout soon as she tried to up the ante. In her search, she found Harleen Deol in the deep of the fielding of Rajeshwari Gayakwad.

Natalie Sciver couldn’t add much to the scoreboard as she was caught by Sophie Ecclestone for just 1 run, again off the bowling of Rajeshwari.

The pair of Harmanpreet and Sophie Devine cam together for a 48-run partnership to take their team to within a touching distance of the target.

Ecclestone trapped Devine to end the stand as Supernovas started to doubt. Up stepped Harmanpreet.

The Supernovas skipper smashed the Trailblazers bowlers all around the park as they hurtled towards the target.

In the last over, the equation came down to 19 off 6 balls as the senior-most bowler in Trailblazers’ ranks took the ball. Harmanpreet smashed four boundaries off the first five balls to bring it down to 3 runs from the last ball. But in the end, experience won, as Jhulan got Harmanpreet to miss as Suzie Bates was run out trying to sneak through a run.

Earlier, Smriti Mandhana’s brilliant knock of 90, backed by Harleen Deol’s 36, helped Trailblazers post 140/5 from their quota of 20 overs.

Smriti, who repaired the early damage, faced 67 balls and her knock was laced with 10 boundaries and three hits into the stands.

Put into to bat, Trailblazers lost opener Suzie Bates early with just 11 runs on the board after 1.3 overs. Anuja Patil who accounted for the wicket of the opener.

The Supernovas, however, failed to make any further inroads soon as the Trailblazers duo of Smriti and Harleen put up 50 runs for the second wicket in 9.4 overs. The duo then helped their side touch the three-figure mark in style as Smriti smashed leggie Poonam Yadav for a six over extra cover in the 16th over.

Pacer Sophie Devine finally came up with the much-needed breakthrough as she dismissed Harleen in the 19th over before Radha Yadav also jolted Trailblazers by sending back a well-settled Smriti in the final over.

Dayalan Hemalatha (2*) and Stafanie Taylor (2*) could then only manage to add three runs to the team tally.

Trailblazers will take on Velocity, led by Mithli Raj, at the same ground on Tuesday.


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