Last year Radha Yadav had won the final of Women’s T20 Challenge 2019 for Supernovas. This year she delivered yet another fiery performance, however in a losing cause. A low-scoring final of Women’s T20 Challenge 2020 saw Trailblazers led by Smriti Mandhana claiming their maiden title beating the defending champions Supernovas.
A captain’s knock
When Trailblazers were asked to bat first all eyes were on their leading batter and captain Smriti Mandhana. Mandhana along with Deandra Dottin added 71 runs for the first wicket and the skipper was more attacking this time. Dottin could add just 20 runs in 32 balls whereas Mandhana looked flawless. The second match of Trailblazers saw Dottin, Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, and Harleen Deol working together to complete a successful chase. But this time, Smriti Mandhana did it all alone.
The Mandhana-centric batting line-up saw Dottin registering the second highest score from the side while Mandhana added 49-ball 68 with five fours and three maximums. Once Mandhana was dismissed in the 15th over, the entire middle order collapsed in no time. Trailblazers lost six wickets in just 17 runs and could set a target of mere 119 for Supernovas.
Khatun leads the bowling
Supernovas were expected to chase down the score with a star-studded batting line-up at the core. However, Trailblazers bowlers defended the score and ended Harmanpreet Kaur-led Supernovas innings for 102/7. It began with the initial breakthrough provided by the world number one, Sophie Eccleston. Eccleston scalped the wicket of Chamari Atapattu within the first two overs.
Her colleagues continued with the momentum and kept things tight for Supernovas throughout. Deepti Sharma who failed to deliver with the bat went on to take two major wickets of Jemima Rodrigues and Taniya Bhatia to conclude with a brilliant bowling figure (3-0-9-2). The highlight of Supernovas bowling unit was Salman Khatun, the all-rounder from Bangladesh. Khatun ran through the middle order to record three wickets to her name conceding only 18 runs in four overs.
Radha Yadav, sole warrior
Radha Yadav was not on the podium this time but this year’s Women’s T20 Challenge final will be remembered for her electrifying spell. It was Yadav who singlehandedly gave the platform to Supernovas to create a record by winning the league for the third time in a row. Radha Yadav ensured the middle-order of Trailblazers could not exploit the slog and went on to take five wickets for 16 runs in her four overs.
Her deadly spell was the best in the history of tournament that earned her the player of the series award. Even Mandhana’s fluent innings could not save the Trailblazers innings and the match was completely in Supernovas’ court until they started crawling in the second innings.
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