Desire to create history drives Nuzhat Parween’s Railways to Under-23 Twenty20 title

Maithilee Shetty
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Desire to create history drives Nuzhat Parween’s Railways to Under-23 Twenty20 title

Nuzhat Parween called her experience of leading Railways to the Under-23 inter-state Twenty20 championship as “thrilling.” Railways beat Maharashtra by three wickets at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Tuesday (February 5) to lift the title.

Put into bat, Maharashtra rode on the unbroken third-wicket stand of 96 between Devika Vaidya (50 not out off 49 balls) and Tejal Hasbanis (52 not out off 50 balls) to post 116 for 2 in 20 overs. Railways were in a spot of bother at 65 for 5, but the sixth-wicket partnership of 44 between Deepa Das and R Kalpana put the chase back on track. They lost another two wickets, but Pushpa Kiresur ensured that the job was completed with nine balls to spare.

“Captaincy was a thrilling experience especially as this is my first victory as captain. We had to prove ourselves to our seniors,” Parween, who has been a part of the senior Railways squad for three seasons now and has also played for India, told Women’s CricZone. “We wanted to create a history on the note that we can dominate the game too. It’s my third year playing from Indian Railways. I have learned a lot how to handle injuries and work hard on my own. As an individual how can I improve my game. Railways is all about giving your best when you have not so much.”

Maharashtra’s revival after losing two early wickets tested Parween’s captaincy skills, but she was happy with the way the team held on to finish the game. “We expected a lesser total as in (the first) ten overs we had given away only two boundaries,” she said.

Hasbanis, the Maharashtra skipper, said that she was happy with the total they posted and was confident that she had the resources to defend it, but rued conceding too many boundaries. Railways hit a total of 11 fours, while Maharashtra hit only three. Right at the start of the chase, V Sneha Deepthi hit three fours in her 30-ball 23 to set the tone.

Similarly, Deepa and Kalpana were not bogged by the situation. They counterattacked to score at a brisk rate. Deepa made 22 off 21 balls, while Kalpana made 25 off 19 balls before being run out.

“Devika and I had a crucial partnership on this particular pitch and situation. I believe it was a good knock and a decent total. Our side was happy to get 116 runs on the board and believed it was quite defendable,” Hasbanis said. “Prior to this match, we had defended 79 and 92 also. Our approach was to ball more dots, take wickets at regular interval. Unfortunately, we gave away too many boundaries which caused us this match.”

This was only the second loss for Maharashtra in the tournament. They had topped Group B with five wins in six games, and then won all the four matches in the Super League stage. Vaidya topped the batting charts with 395 runs and Maya Sonawane, the left-arm wrist spinner, was the best bowler with 22 wickets. Hasbanis said she was happy with the team’s overall progress.

“The way we have played this tournament was quite spectacular while defending and chasing. Everyone was having fun and wanted to win,” she said. “Those were the positives from this tournament. We will come back stronger next season. It was just about performing under pressure on the final.”

Maharashtra 116/2 in 20 overs (Devika Vaidya 50*, Tejal Hasbanis 52*) lost to Railways 117/7 in 18.3 overs (R Kalpana 25, AA Gaikwad 2-19) by three wickets