Smriti Mandhana starred with the bat while Salma Khatun picked three wickets as Trailblazers beat Supernovas by 16 runs to clinch the Jio Women’s T20 Challenge title at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Needing 119 runs to win, Supernovas lost Chamari Athapaththu early as Sophie Ecclestone trapped her before the wickets to give Trailblazers their first breakthrough.
Trailblazers kept things tight restricting Supernovas to 28/1 at the end of the powerplay. As Supernovas looked for some quick runs, Trailblazers then struck twice in the space of three overs as Deepti Sharma got Taniya Bhatia and Jemimah Rodrigues out.
While Bhatia was caught at short mid-wicket, Nattakan Chantam, who had earlier pulled off a stunning diving save near the boundary rope, completed a remarkable catch to dismiss Jemimah.
Supernovas needed a partnership to get their chase back on track and the experienced duo of Harmanpreet Kaur and Shashikala Siriwardene did just that, putting up a 37-run stand.
But just when it looked that the two would shift the gears, Salma Khatun dismissed Siriwardene after the Sri Lankan top-edged her sweep and Jhulan Goswami completed an easy catch. The required run-rate continued to rise for Supernovas as Trailblazers squeezed the flow of runs.
While Harman, despite struggling with her hamstring, kept the team’s hopes alive, with 28 needed from the last two overs, Trailblazers dealt the decisive blow as they picked three wickets, including that of Harmanpreet after Salma Khatun disturbed the timber. Trailblazers conceded just seven runs in the final over and went on to beat Supernovas by 16 runs to clinch the title.
Earlier, Supernovas, who brought in Pooja Vastrakar in place of Priya Punia in the team, elected to bowl against Trailblazers who picked Nuzhat Parween in place of Dayalan Hemalatha.
While Deandra Dottin creamed a four in the first over, skipper Smriti Mandhana hit three fours and a six in the next two overs to take Trailblazers to 27 after three overs. The pair added 18 runs in the next three overs and completed a fifty-run stand in the seventh over, with Smriti doing the majority of the scoring.
Supernovas though pulled back the things in the next four overs, conceding just 15 runs and that helped them get a wicket in the 12th over as Poonam Yadav dismissed Dottin after Radha Yadav completed a juggling catch. Smriti, though, completed a fine fifty in the same over, hitting Poonam for a four and a six as Trailblazers reached 85/1.
While Trailblazers moved past hundred in the 15th over, they lost Smriti for 68 in the same over, courtesy a fine work behind the stumps from Taniya Bhatia.
Supernovas then ran through Trailblazers batting order. Radha Yadav, brought back into the attack in the 18th over, picked two wickets, dismissing Deepti Sharma and Richa Ghosh and then went on to pick three more wickets in the final over to become the first bowler to pick a five-wicket haul in the Women’s T20 Challenge, helping Supernovas limit Trailblazers to 118/8.
Brief Scores: Trailblazers 118/8 (Smriti Mandhana 68, Deandra Dottin 20; Radha Yadav 5/16) beat Supernovas 102/7 (Harmanpreet Kaur 30, Shashikala Siriwardene 19; Salma Khatun 3/18) by 16 runs