Source: Rahul Gulati / Sportzpics for BCCI

Trailblazers win as Skipper Smriti strikes a record score

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International Women’s T20 Three Team Challenge Final: at Ash-Shariqah (Sharjah), UAE; November 9th

Skipper Smriti Mandhana’s match-winning performance was seen on TV (‘SKY Sports); heard on the radio (‘Sports Xtra’); and ‘Tweeted’ via social media (‘Scroll India’.) As floodlights came on and light faded, playing conditions became more humid with a wet ball needing constant towelling. Before the match, both Skippers assured interviewers that their players would ‘put on a good show,’ given so much indecision about next year’s cricket.

*Batting first, ‘Trailblazers’ made 66 without loss by the mid-way point (Smriti Mandhana 44*; Deandre Dottin 17*). With below-par strike rate, Dottin (20 runs off 32 balls) was then caught during the next over by Radha Yadav, off Poonam Yadav (1-23) – their opening partnership worth 71 runs. Skipper Smriti (68 off 49) persevered until dismissed in the 15thover, setting a new top score (68) for the competition.

Astonishingly, four ‘Trailblazers’ wickets were thrown away from their last six balls. Another record set, as Radha Yadav (5-19) bagged five wickets for ‘Supernovas,’ – thanks mainly to what radio commentator Isabelle Westbury described as a ‘ridiculous final over.’ Ebony Rainford-Brent added that Skipper Smriti ‘would be disappointed ‘not to’ reach 130.’

* By comparison, ‘Supernovas’ lost their biggest hitters to spin-bowling around the wicket. Chamari Athapaththu (6 runs off 9 balls) went ‘leg before’ to England’s left-armed Sophie Ecclestone’s sixth ball – said to be a faster, accurate ball – bowled ‘at a deceptive 38mph.’

* India’s Jemimah Rodrigues (13) and Taniya Bhatia (14) were both deceived by Deepti Sharma’s right-armed off-breaks (2-9) – (noting that Deepti bats left-handed) – at which point Westbury concluded that: ‘Trailblazers’ bowlers were ‘winning the game.’

Neither side found the boundary more than three times during their remaining ten overs. Ebony Rainford-Brent told radio listeners that ‘Supernovas’ needed to find ‘something special.’ Sadly, the game reached its anti-climax when Skipper Harmanpreet found herself hobbling between wickets, was almost ‘run out’ and called for the physiotherapist.


‘Trailblazers’ won the Challenge Trophy 2020 having previously lost last Saturday’s qualifying ‘dress-rehearsal’ by two runs. Victorious ‘Trailblazers’ made ‘a pretty exciting start.’ Skipper Smriti Mandhana hit three ‘sixes’ in her record knock of 68. For ‘Supernovas,’ Radha Yadav also raised the performance bar- by bagging a record five wickets. Once Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s stumps were skittled during the penultimate over, ‘Supernovas’ were facing defeat as more wickets fell.

Result: Trailblazers ‘TBL’ beat Supernovas ‘SNO’ by 16 runs

Trailblazers 118-8 (20 overs) Smriti Mandhana 68 (off 49 balls), Deandra Dottin 20 (32), Richa Ghosh 10(16); Radha Yadav 5-19,  Shashikala Siriwardene 1-25, Poonam Yadav (1-23), Anuja Patil 1-26; Fow 71-1;101-2;112-3;112-4;117-5;118-6;118-7;118-8 beat Supernovas 102-7 (20 overs) Harmanpreet Kaur 30 (off 16 balls), Shashikala Siriwardene 19(18), Taniya Bhatia 14(20), Jemimah Rodrigues 13 (21); Salma Khatun 3-18; Deepti Sharma 2-9 ; Sophie Ecclestone 1-23; Fow 10-1; 30-2; 37-3; 74-4; 93-5; 93-6; 94-7.


Scorecards from earlier games

Velocity v Trailblazers

Supernovas v Trailblazers

Supernovas v Velocity


Video link is from Scroll India