While Andhra beat Himachal Pradesh in the semifinal, Bengal got the better of Railways in the other last-four clash. Here is a look at the road they took to make it to the final.
December 1: Beat Punjab by six wickets at JKC College Ground
CH Jhansi Lakshmi’s 3 for 31 and an even 100 was the difference. Taniya Bhatia’s 66 took Punjab to 174 for 8, but Jhansi and N Anusha put an opening stand of 78 to start Andhra’s chase, which was completed in 46.5 overs.
December 2: Beat Vidarbha by 17 runs at JKC College Ground
G Chandra Lekha led a spirited bowling performance with her three wickets after Andhra were bowled out for 152 in 45.3 overs. She got good support from rest of the bowlers and there were three run outs as Vidarbha were dismissed for 135 with seven overs to go.
December 6: Lost to Railways by eight wickets at JKC College Ground
A disciplined Railways bowling unit kept Andhra to 123 for 9, and then Mithali Raj made 63 not out as an opener to complete the chase in 25.1 overs.
December 8: Beat Haryana by six runs at JKC College Ground
N Anusha’s 72 retired hurt and G Sneha’s late flourish with 34-ball 45 took Andhra to 219 for 4. Haryana gave a good fight through a fourth-wicket stand of 77 between Sheetal Rana and Sonia Khatri. They, however, failed to score seven runs off the last three balls bowled by K Jyothi.
December 10: Beat Chhattisgarh by two wickets at JKC College Ground
After Jyothi and V Pushpa Latha took three wickets each to give Andhra a target of 94, the collapsed to be 63 for 8. S Hima Bindu (15 not out) and Jyothi (13 not out) held their nerve to win with 13.2 overs to spare.
December 12: Beat Saurashtra by 62 runs at JKC College Ground
Chandra Lekha’s 71 took Andhra to 203 for 8, and then K Anjali Sarvani took three wickets to structure a big win. Leading in the absence of Anusha, Padmaja took two wickets.
December 16: Beat Goa by seven wickets (VJD method) at JKC College Ground
Jyothi and Sarvani took five wickets between them to dismiss Goa for 76 in 29.5 overs, and before rain came in Andhra had reached their revised target of 70 in 13.4 overs.
December 20: Beat Maharashtra by eight wickets at JKC College Ground
All the six bowlers took a wicket at least to restrict Maharashtra to 187 for 9. Pushpa Latha’s unbeaten 82 from No.3 and her stands of 99 and 76 with Jhansi Lakshmi and Padmaja respectively formed the core of the chase. Andhra finished second on the Group A and B points table.
Quarterfinal: December 26: Beat Odisha by three wickets at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium
Playing for the first time at a different venue, Andhra held their nerve in a tricky chase of 161. Reduced to 137 for 7 after Jhansi fell for 75, Sarvani and Jyothi got the job done through strike-rotation.
Semifinal: December 29: Beat Himachal Pradesh by four wickets at Just Cricket Ground
Himachal batted steadily to reach 194 for 3 before reducing Andhra to 60 for 3. Then Jhansi (40), Padmaja (33), Chandra Lekha (49) and Hima Bindu (45 not out) rose to the occasion to take Andhra to their first-ever senior final.
December 1: Beat Karnataka by eight wickets at Alur Cricket Ground 3
N Maji’s three-wicket haul after Bengal were asked to field first kept Karnataka to 117 for 9. Deepti Sharma’s unbeaten 62 and an unbroken third-wicket partnership of 64 took Bengal home in 35.4 overs.
December 3: Lost to Tamil Nadu by 36 runs at Alur Cricket Ground
N Niranjana’s 100 took Tamil Nadu to 195 for 8, with the next highest score being 25. Bengal lost both their openers in the first two overs. A fifth-wicket stand of 52 between Mandira Mahapatra and Neha Majhi could not stop them from dismissed for 159 in 42.4 overs.
December 5: Beat Delhi by 24 runs at Alur Cricket Ground 3
In a high-intensity clash against Delhi, Jhulan Goswami, Shublakshmi Sharma and Deepti shared all wickets between them. Chasing 179 after Mahapatra had built Bengal’s innings with an unbeaten 57, Delhi were skittled out for 154 in 48 overs.
December 6: Beat Gujarat by nine wickets at Alur Cricket Ground
Deepti’s 4 for 12 and SP Aich’s 4-18 kept Gujarat to 54 in 40.3 overs, and then Deepti remained unbeaten on 34 to finish the game with plenty to spare.
December 10: Beat Baroda by 130 runs at Alur Cricket Ground 3
Fresh after a four-day break, Deepti’s 106 not out and an undefeated stand of 176 with Tanusree Sarkar (81*) took Bengal to 221 for 2. Deepti, Aich, Sarkar and PB Pandey shared the spoils to dismiss Baroda for 91.
December 14: Beat Kerala by 74 runs at Alur Cricket Ground
Deepti’s unbeaten 102 and her returns of 4 for 12 formed the architect of a crucial win. Chasing 225, Kerala had little answer, with Shublakshmi and Goswami chipping in with five wickets between them. The three big wins against Gujarat, Baroda and Kerala boosted Bengal’s net run-rate.
December 16: Lost to Mumbai by eight wickets at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium
Prativa made 80 to take Bengal to 193 before they were dismissed with a ball left, but it paled in front of an unbeaten 118-ball 133 by Jemimah Rodrigues as Mumbai romped home in 38.5 overs.
December 20: Beat Tripura by eight wickets at Alur Cricket Ground 3
Having to win to qualify for the knockouts, Bengal dismissed Tripura for 63 in 37 overs. Deepti had figures of 6-2-4-3, and Goswami and Pandey took two wickets each. Sarkar’s 31 not out helped Bengal finish fourth on the Group A and B Elite table.
Quarterfinal: December 26: Beat Baroda by 77 runs at Alur Cricket Ground 3
Handy contributions from four batters took Bengal to 174 in 48.2 overs before the bowlers came to the fore once again. All the six bowlers picked up a wicket at least, with Sarkar standing out with her three-wicket haul.
Semifinal: December 29: Beat Railways by 21 runs at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium
A complete team effort. Deepti’s 85 held the innings together, and Goswami’s unbeaten 34-ball 50 provided the impetus as Bengal reached 211 for 7. Goswami, parsimonious as ever, finished with 9-3-9-3 and Subhlakshmi Sharma took 5 for 48. Deepti took the crucial wicket of Mithali as Railways failed to make it to the finals for the first time after 2011-12.