Cricket Jio Women's T20 Challenge

Supernovas edge past Trailblazers in thriller, play again in the final

SHARJAH: Supernovas held their nerve in a last-ball thriller to beat Trailblazers by two runs in the third match on Saturday and with it, sealed a place in the Jio Women’s T20 Challenge final, where they will face Trailblazers. Needing 147 runs to win, Trailblazers made a solid start in the chase as Deandra Dottin and Smriti Mandhana took their team to 43/0 after 6 overs, with the right-hander doing the majority of the scoring.

However, the partnership was broken in the seventh over after Shakera Selman struck twice in the seventh over. First, the right-arm pacer got Dottin out LBW and then disturbed the timber to dismiss Richa Ghosh. While Mandhana and Deepti Sharma added 35 runs together, Supernovas kept the things tight, denying Trailblazers a chance to up the ante. The approach helped Supernovas to pick two quick wickets. While Anuja Patil got Mandhana out caught and bowled, Radha Yadav had Dayalan Hemalatha caught behind the wickets on the final ball of the 15th over.

Trailblazers needed 56 runs from the last five overs when Deepti Sharma and Harleen Deol joined hands. The two hit a four each in the 16th over as Trailblazers moved past hundred. Trailblazers scored nine off the 17th over before Harleen Deol hit two fours in the 18th over to bring down the target to 24 runs from the last 12 balls. In the penultimate over, Deepti hit two fours and Trailblazers scored 14 runs.

With nine runs to defend in the final over, Harmanpreet Kaur handed the ball to Radha Yadav. The left-arm spinner conceded 6 runs off the first four balls and then ended Harleen Deol’s 27-run blitz on the fifth ball of the over. Trailblazers needed 4 runs on the final ball to seal a win. But Radha kept her calm and gave away just a run as Supernovas sealed a two-run win.

Earlier, Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and Supernovas elected to bat. While Priya Punia struggled to find the gaps, Chamari Athapaththu made a cracking start as Supernovas scored 50/0 in the powerplay. The left-hander creamed two fours off Deepti Sharma in the second over and followed it up with a six and a four in the off-spinner’s next over. The fifth over in the powerplay was bowled by Jhulan Goswami and Supernovas scored 16 runs off it, with Athapaththu adding one more four and six to her account.

Punia hit her first four of the match in the last over of the powerplay before completing a fifty-run stand with Athapaththu. In the next four overs, the pair added 30 runs as Supernovas moved to 80/0 after 10 overs. Trailblazers were looking for a breakthrough and they got one in the 12th over as Deepti Sharma took a stunning catch off Salma Khatun’s bowling to dismiss Priya Punia for 30.

In the next over, Athapaththu brought up a fine half-century before Supernovas reached the 100-run mark in the 15th over. The big-hitting Sri Lankan then took on Khatun in the 16th over, creaming a six and a four. Trailblazers though managed to strike twice in the next two overs via Harleen Deol and Jhulan Goswami as Supernovas lost Chamari Athapaththu after a stroke-filled 67 and Jemimah Rodrigues.

Harmanpreet Kaur went after Harleen Deol in the penultimate over, hitting a four and a six as Supernovas moved past 140. While Supernovas looked set to go past 150, Trailblazers bowled a three-wicket final over and limited Supernovas to 146/6.  

Brief scores: Supernovas 146/6 (Chamari Athapaththu 67, Harmanpreet Kaur 31; Jhulan Goswami 1/17) beat Trailblazers 144/5 (Deepti Sharma 43*, Smriti Mandhana 33; Radha Yadav 2/30) by two runs

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