Women’s T20 Challenge: Smriti Mandhana brighten Women’s T20 Challenge opener.


Harmanpreet Kaur almost pulled off a superb run-chase with 19 runs needed off the last over for Supernovas. Mandhana's 67-ball 90 helped the Trailblazers finish with 140/5 after scoring just 25 runs in the powerplay.

Explosive opener Smriti Mandhana lit up the opening game of the Women’s T20 Challenge with an entertaining 90 off 67 balls, taking Trailblazers to 140 for five against Supernovas here on Monday. Needing 19 off the final over, Supernovas skipper Harmanpreet (46 not out off 34) almost got her team over the line with some sensational hitting but veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami held her nerve after being smashed consecutive four boundaries in the over, one of them almost a six.  Leading from the front, the Trailblazers’ skipper anchored the innings against Supernovas on a tough track at the Sawai Mann Singh stadium, Jaipur. Her beautiful knock was laced with 10 exquisite fours and 3 huge sixes. At the venue, the stadium was far from full but that did not affect Mandhana’s batting. Timing the ball perfectly Mandhana paced her knock well after the early wicket of Kiwi batter Suzie Bates.

The game was an ideal advert for women's cricket and before Harmanpreet's cameo, it was explosive opener and Trailblazers skipper Smriti Mandhana who enthralled the Jaipur crowd with a match-winning 90 off 67 balls.

Reflecting on her innings, Mandhana said, “The way I started my innings, I wasn’t timing the ball, and I had to create a partnership and then launch. Different kind of innings for me, and really happy with the way Harleen and I batted. Expected the wicket to be a lot better, it was spicy that’s why I was struggling.”

“It was not because of the break, I have been practicing a lot but the wicket was different from what I had expected. I am really proud the way Harleen batted – when I asked her for a boundary or the strike, she got it every time. The wicket looks like it’s on the slower side and we have some good spin options, so looking forward to defending this score. I think we have enough runs on the board.” she added.

The BCCI is organizing a bigger tournament for the women in comparison to the inaugural edition last year when only a one-off game was played. Velocity, led by Mithali Raj, will take on Trailblazers in the next match on Wednesday.

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