The Trailblazers clinched their maiden Women's T20 Challenge by beating the Supernovas by 16 runs in the final game of the tournament at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Despite the dew factor playing a major role in the second innings, Smriti Mandhana clearly mentioned at the toss the importance of runs on the board in the final. It is never easy chasing a total in a big game, as proved right by Supernovas, who struggled under the pressure of keeping up with the required run rate.
Smriti Mandhana leads from the front to help Trailblazers clinch the Women's T20 Challenge
After being put in to bat, the Trailblazers depended on their experienced openers, Deandra Dottin and Smriti Mandhana, to give them a good start. With years of international experience between them, the duo started the innings steadily, adding 71 runs for the first wicket. However, the slow surface along with the lack of pace from opposition bowlers troubled the explosive West Indian batter Dottin, as she struggled her way through 20 runs off 32 balls.
With Mandhana being the more dominant partner in the opening stand, Dottin was more than happy to play the role of second fiddle. The elegant left-hander played crucial innings of 68 runs off 49 balls with five boundaries and three huge hits over the fence to lay a solid foundation for her team in this final game of the competition.
Despite a strong start at the top of the order, the middle order failed to capitalize on the situation, and was clearly undone by the lack of pace and the considerable amount of turn on the pitch.
The left-arm spin of Radha Yadav wrecked through the batting line up of the Trailblazers, and registered the best ever figures in the tournament of five wickets for 16 runs in her four-over spell. The 20-year-old used the conditions on offer and varied her pace to make it difficult for the batting side to play the big strokes.
Her spell was instrumental in helping the Supernovas restrict the Trailblazers to 118 runs in the first innings and crawl their way back into the contest.
Chasing 119 runs for the coveted trophy, Supernovas lost wickets at regular intervals, making it difficult for them to keep up with the required run rate.
A lot rested on the shoulders of the experienced duo of Harmanpreet Kaur and Shashikala Sriwardene to bail them out of the initial jitters. They added 37 runs for the fourth wicket, before the Sri Lankan was caught at short fine leg by Jhulan Goswami for 19 runs.
The Trailblazers have been heavily reliant on their spinners all through the competition. With the experience of Salma Khatun, along with the number one bowler in the world, Sophie Ecclestone, the team stuck to their game plan of bowling within the stumps and varying their pace.
Despite batting heroics from skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, Supernovas fell agonizingly short by 16 runs in the summit clash.
Women's IPL 2020, Supernovas vs Trailblazers: Who was the player of the match?
Smriti Mandhana led from the front and shouldered the bulk of the responsibility for the team with the bat, as she scored a sublime half-century of 68 runs off 49 balls, to help them register a decent total of 118 runs in the first innings.
After being asked to bat first, the left-hander — along with Deandra Dottin — laid a solid foundation of 71 runs for the first wicket. With the wicket being low and offering plenty of turn, Mandhana was at her very best as she tried to time the ball and clear the infield.
Her knock was studded with five boundaries and three maximum hits over the fence, making her the player of the game for her match-defining knock.