The defending champions Supernovas started the finals of the Women's T20 Challenge in a commanding fashion, as they restricted the Trailblazers to 118 runs in the first innings at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
With plenty of cricket being played at the ground, the wickets have been a lot slower, and assisted the spinners in the second half of the tournament.
Dew is expected to play a major role in helping the ball come on to the bat in the second innings, which is why Supernovas skipper Harmanapreet Kaur had no hesitation in electing to field first.
Radha Yadav: First five-wicket haul in Women's T20 Challenge for the Supernovas
The Trailblazers got off to a steady start courtesy a sublime knock of 68 runs off 49 balls from the skipper, Smriti Mandhana. The left-hander, along with Deandra Dottin, added 71 runs for the opening partnership.
Despite the solid start, the Supernovas bounced back mainly due to the ability of their left-arm spinner, Radha Yadav who helped restrict the flow of runs and also pick up wickets at regular intervals. The 20-year-old was handed the hardest task of bowling at the back end of the innings in the shortest format of the game.
Bowling the 18th over, Yadav made full use of the conditions on offer and tossed the ball up inviting Deepti Sharma to play the big stroke. However, lack of pace and plenty of turn on offer resulted in her downfall, as she was comfortably caught on the boundary at long-on by Chamari Atapattu.
A couple of balls later, a mistimed hit from Richa Ghosh too was pouched safely by the Sri Lankan, as Yadav wrecked through the middle order of the Trailblazers.
The youngster returned to bowl the last over of the innings with 117 runs on the board. It was heartening to see the young spinner show maturity way beyond her years, as she varied the pace of the ball and picked up three crucial wickets in the over, to stem the flow of runs and shift the momentum in the favour of the Supernovas.
She was rewarded for bowling it slower through the air and consistently pitching the ball in the right area, making it difficult to play the big stroke. Her exploits in the back end of the innings resulted in Yadav registering the best ever figures of five wickets for 16 runs in her allotted quota of four overs.
At 71 for no loss in 11 overs, it looked like the Trailblazers were clearly running away with the contest. However, a disciplined bowling effort by the young spinner helped her team crawl right back into this contest.Published 09 Nov 2020, 22:01 IST