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WT20 Challenge 2019, Supernovas vs Trailblazers, Match 1, Review – Smriti Mandhana triumphs over Harmanpreet in a thriller

Even though the Trailblazers were sloppy on the field, it, fortunately, didn't cost them the game.

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

India’s T20I vice-captain Smriti Mandhana was up against the skipper Harmanpreet Kaur in the first game of the second edition of Women’s T20 Challenge 2019. The Supernovas and Trailblazers locked horns in the maiden game of this three-team tournament. In a short, breezy tournament such as this, every win makes a massive difference. This game turned out to be much closer than what it actually appeared at the halfway mark.

The Supernovas were expected to chase down the target of 141 quite easily. However, the 90 runs from Smriti Mandhana managed to outshine Harmanpreet Kaur’s brilliant efforts towards the end of the game. The game came so close but yet remained so far for the Supernovas. They fell short of the target by a mere 2 runs.

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Smriti Mandhana battles hard, ends up being the lone warrior

Harmanpreet won the toss in Jaipur and put Mandhana’s team into bat first. The batsmen seemed to struggle initially in this match. Suzie Bates was dismissed for just one run which was a huge set match early on. After the loss of this wicket, Smriti and Harleen Deol tried to steady the ship but both of them struggled. They scored very slowly and the run rate was below 6 until the 14th over.

It was in the 15th over that Mandhana got to her fifty from 47 balls and cut loose thereafter. She started hitting the big sixes and scored 39 runs in the next 20 balls. However, she missed out on a wonderful opportunity of scoring a hundred and was dismissed in the final over for 90 runs. Harleen, at the other end, kept struggling and perished after crawling her way to 36 runs from 44 balls. Radha Yadav picked up two wickets in the innings as the Trailblazers finished with 140 runs on the board.

Harmanpreet Kaur unleashes her big-hitting potential only to fall short

Just like the Trailblazers, the Supernovas also lost one of their openers early. Priya Punia could only score one run before she walked back to the pavilion. However, Chamari Athapaththu put up a good partnership with Jemimah Rodrigues. They added 49 runs in this partnership before Jemimah was dismissed run out for 24 after some poor calling between these two. Soon after the first timeout, Athapaththu also dollied one straight to the long-on fielder. She struggled her way to 26 runs from 34 balls before she got out.

Even though the Supernovas lost Natalie Sciver for only one run, New Zealand’s Sophie Devine came to the rescue when the required rate was soaring up. Despite hardly getting any support from Harmanpreet Kaur at the other end, Devine played some splendid shots to keep her team in the game. However, she couldn’t take the team through and got out in the penultimate over for 32 runs. 19 runs were required in the last over and Harmanpreet Kaur was marvellous in this over. She hit four boundaries in the first five balls but still, her team fell short by 2 runs.

Brief Scores:

TRL: 140/5 in 20 overs (Smriti Mandhana 90, Harleen Deol 36, Radha Yadav 2/28)

SPN: 138/6 in 20 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 46*, Sophie Devine 32, Sophie Ecclestone 2/11)

Result: Trailblazers won the match by 2 runs.

Man of the Match: Smriti Mandhana

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