Smriti Mandhana, who recently led India in three Twenty20 Internationals against England in Guwahati, will turn up for Maharashtra in a must-win Super League game of the inter-state T20 competition on Monday (March 11).
It will be Mandhana’s first match for her home state this season as she did not feature in the inter-state 50-over competition due to her Women’s Big Bash League commitment.
Maharashtra, who will be playing against Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium, will also have the services of Anuja Patil, who missed the first half of the Super League stage due to the England T20Is. Punjab will be boosted by the return of Taniya Bhatia, who is likely to captain the side.
Similarly, Veda Krishnamurthy, Poonam Yadav, Arundhati Reddy and Ekta Bisht will turn up for Railways for their encounter against Madhya Pradesh. The five of them were part of the Indian team for the T20Is against England.
Super League Group A table is intriguingly poised. Punjab, who are the group toppers with 12 points from three games, have to win against Maharashtra to qualify for the final. If Maharashtra, whose net run-rate is +1.168 – much better compared to Punjab (+0.273) and Railways (+1.020) – win then they will strengthen their case, but have to wait for the result of the Railways match.
Maharashtra and Railways have eight points each from three games, but Railways are second because they have beaten Maharashtra.
Playing the second match of the day, Railways will exactly know the margin by which they have to beat Madhya Pradesh, who have not won a single match in the Super League stage, to better their net run-rate and go to the top of the table even if Maharashtra win against Punjab.
Things are not that complicated in Group B Super League. Karnataka top the table with three wins from as many games. They will take on Assam in their last game. If they win, they will automatically be through to the final. But in case they lose then they will be tied on 12 points with Himachal Pradesh, who are currently second.
Karnataka, however, have beaten Himachal Pradesh in their clash, and their net run-rate is +0.474 compared to Himachal’s +0.278.
The toppers of Group A and Group B of the Super League stage will clash against each other in the final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on March 13.
The two Super League Group B matches involving Punjab, Maharashtra, Railways and Madhya Pradesh, and the final will be televised live.