Twitter Reactions: Smriti Mandhana and bowlers help Trailblazers win the thriller by 2 runs

Twitter Reactions: Smriti Mandhana and bowlers help Trailblazers win the thriller by 2 runs

Mandhana's 90-run knock proved to be game-changing in the end.

Smriti Mandhana and Harleen Deol
Smriti Mandhana and Harleen Deol. (Photo: IANS)

The Women’s T20 Challenge is here to stay. The game between the Supernovas and Trailblazers went right down to the wire and the latter team kept their nerves to win the thriller by just two runs. Smriti Mandhana’s team defended 141 runs superbly as they kept picking the wickets at the regular intervals and despite Harmanpreet Kaur‘s valiant efforts in the last over, Supernovas fell agonisingly short of the finish line.

The chase began poorly for the Kaur-led side as their opener Priya Punia was dismissed by Sophie Ecclestone. Chamari Athapaththu played patiently but she was tied down with a plan by the Trailblazers and despite a couple of drop catches, the Sri Lankan couldn’t make the most of it. Meanwhile, Jemimah Rodrigues looked compact in her approach and played some attractive strokes during her 19-ball 24.

Unfortunately, she was run-out thanks to some exceptional effort from Shakera Selman. Natalie Sciver also couldn’t do much with the bat while Sophie Devine came out at six and turned the game on its head. She and Harmanpreet were set and they were looking the favourites to win the match.

They brought down the equation to 21 off the last two overs with some sensational and clean hitting. However, Mandhana’s punt to give Ecclestone the 19th over turned to be a game-changing one. The England spinner bowled superbly to concede a couple of runs and also caught Devine plumb in front of the stumps.

In the last over, 19 runs were required with Kaur on strike and Jhulan Goswami was entrusted with the responsibility. Supernovas skipper lived up to the billing and brought it down to three runs off the last ball. However, there was still a twist in the tale. She missed the last ball to hit just like how MS Dhoni did against RCB and Ravi Kalpana, like Parthiv Patel did, ran Lea Tahuhu out as Trailblazers won the thriller by just two runs.

Mandhana misses out on a century

Earlier, Harmanpreet Kaur opted to field first after Supernovas won the toss. Smriti Mandhana and Suzie Bates opened the innings for the Trailblazers but the latter was sent back just for a run. Harleen Deol then joined her skipper and took the scoreboard ahead. Both of them struggled strangely as they could add only 25 runs in the first six overs.

The struggle continued more for the Trailblazers as many were left perplexed over Mandhana’s approach. She took her time early on as the wicket didn’t fell at all. Mandhana starting attacking then with more than six overs to go and that reaped rewards for her team. Deol, on the other hand, played a perfect second fiddle to her and rotated strike.

Smriti was clinical in her hitting and found gaps with precision. She raced away into the 90s and at one stage felt like she will get to her century. The 119-run partnership was broken finally in the penultimate over of the innings with Sophie Devine dismissing Deol. Mandhana also missed out on a well-deserved ton but she made sure that her team crossed the 140-run mark and the total proved to be just enough for them to win by two runs.

The Trailblazers go top of the table with their first win while the Supernovas now have to win their next game to stay alive in the tournament.

Here’s how Twitter reacted:

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