Sublime Chamari Atapattu, bowlers take Supernovas to the final
A sublime knock from Chamari Atapattu and some clever bowling from Radha Yadav in the final over helped Supernovas sneak home by two runs against Trailblazers in a thriller in the Women’s T20 Challenge at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Saturday ( November 7). The result meant Supernovas will go through to the final and face Trailblazers again as they finished ahead of the third placed Velocity in the net run rate.
Chasing 147 to win, Deandra Dottin got going straight away clouting Ayabonga Khaka over long-on and then followed it up with a whip to square-leg for a four. She added three more boundaries to her name in the next three overs.
She was looking good for more, but was trapped in front for 15-ball 27 by fellow West Indian Shakera Selman. Replays suggested it was going down leg but the big right-hander didn’t opt for the DRS. Richa Ghosh came and went, giving Selman her second wicket
Smriti Mandhana struggled to find her timing and was given a couple of lives with Supernovas’ fielders failing grab the opportunities. Supernovas gave away only 16 runs in the four overs after the power play. They were 59 for 2 at the end of the tenth over.
Sharma hit a couple of fours in the next two overs and just as Mandhana was looking good to join her with a terrific strike over long-off she chipped a tame drive straight back to Anuja Patil. When Trailblazers lost Dayalan Hemalatha in the last ball of the 15th over, they needed 55 from the last five overs.
Harleen Deol joined Sharma at the crease and the pair scored 12 runs from Harmanpreet Kaur’s 16th over. Deol took on Poonam Yadav, who was held back by the Supernovas’ skipper, when she pitched it in short smashing her for a couple of boundaries.
Suddenly it looked like Trailblazers could overhaul the target with the runs needed coming down to 24 from the last two overs. The target was further reduced to 16 from ten when Sharma picked Selman for back-to-back fours in the penultimate over.
With Trailblazers needing ten runs in the last over, Radha Yadav was given the responsibility to bowl the last over and she did enough to hold their nerve at the death. She didn’t provide the batters room, also pulled her length back and when she erred with a full toss in the fourth delivery Trailblazers couldn’t take advantage of it.
Deol was dismissed in the penultimate delivery and Sophie Ecclestone failed to put bat to the final delivery as Radha bowled it at the leg of the England spinner. Supernovas were at the right side of a thriller this time and were home by two runs, Trailblazers finished on 144 for 5 in their 20 overs.
Sharma remained not out on 43 and Radha was the most successful bowler for Supernovas taking two wickets for 30 runs. Selman finished with figures of 2 for 31.
Earlier opting bat, Chamari Atapattu got Supernovas off to a flier even as it looked like Priya Punia was struggling to put bat to ball. Atapattu took a liking to Deepti Sharma carting her for 21 from nine balls-including three fours and a six over long-off. She then pulled Jhulan Goswami over square-leg for another six. 15 runs came off that over with some untidy work behind the wicket from Ghosh. Supernovas brought up their 50 in the last ball of the power play.
Atapattu provided no respite for Trailblazers even after the power play. She swept Rajeshwari Gayakwad’s fourth ball way back over mid-wicket for her third six of the innings. On the other end, Punia started finding her timing in between playing some ungainly shots. She was dropped on 17 by Dottin off Gayakwad.
Trailblazers eventually got the breakthrough in the form of Punia when Sharma pulled off a magnificent catch at mid-wicket in the 12th over bowled by Salma Khatun. The opening pair put on 89-runs from 72 balls.
Atapattu continued on her merry ways in a phase where Khatun managed to sneak in a couple of frugal overs. She got to her fifty from 37 balls when the fielder at deep square-leg let one through the legs. She got hold off Khatun too when the Bangladesh skipper erred on the fuller side and took her over the off-side for a six and a four.
The left-hander was eventually dismissed when she failed to reach the pitch of a Deol delivery and was caught at long-off for a sublime 67 off 48 balls. Supernovas failed to up the ante in the last four overs, but a couple of hits from Kaur got them to 146 for 6 in the stipulated 20 overs.
For Trailblazers, Goswami, Khatun and Deol took one wicket each.
Supernovas 146 for 6 in 20 overs (Chamari Atapattu 67; Harmanpreet Kaur 31; Jhulan Goswami 1/17) beat Trailblazers 144/5 in 20 overs (Deepti Sharma 43*, Smriti Mandhana 33; Radha Yadav 2/30, Shakera Selman 2/31) by two runs. PoM: Chamari Atapattu