tossed up, driven away towards sweeper cover. Mandhana was already celebrating this, as the batters scrambled for the second. There was a good throw in to Parween's gloves, who let go of the ball quite quickly, but Selman just beat her to it. No dismissal off the last ball
9.55pm Smriti Mandhana steps up to pick up the trophy. The rest of the team sports some wide smiles. So after two years of the Supernovas, the Trailblazers are Women's T20 Challenge champions for the first time. Do stick around for coverage from this game, as also the continuing build-up to the IPL final on Tuesday between Mumbai and Delhi. For the moment, this is Debayan Sen, signing off on behalf of Chandan Duorah and Sreshth Shah, with the hope that next year, we get to witness a full-scale women's IPL, with all the top stars of the game involved in it. Good night and good bye.
9.39pm The presentation follows shortly. Harmanpreet Kaur: "It's not that bad [the injury] but it's a great learning for us. It wasn't that tough a total to chase, but we didn't get any partnerships. You need at least two good partnerships. It was very difficult, because I got hurt while fielding. I tried my best, but it wasn't enough in the end. Sitting at home was very difficult, we have to respect whatever conditions are going on. We have to be very particular and be safe, whether we are playing or not."
Player of the match goes to Smriti Mandhana. Rightly so, on a difficult wicket, she got more than half of what her team notched up.
Player of the series goes to Radha Yadav. She speaks to the broadcaster: "It feels good to get five wickets, but am not happy about having lost the game. I was very happy looking at the pitch, because it's a spinning track. The idea was to stick to the stock ball, and try doing things as normally as possible. Lockdown was difficult, but I put in a lot of effort into my bowling. Maybe that is showing up. I was playing consistently, so I didn't miss being on the field. I was in touch."
Mandhana steps up to speak: "We had this just post the World Cup, and we were looking forward to just taking some rest. But we didn't realise the rest will go this long. First two-three months at home were good, but once the lockdown was eased, we got the chance to go the ground and hit some balls. I think it was a good time to go back and work on our basics. [On the start] I gave my wicket away (laughs), no my wicket was crucial because this is a difficult wicket to bat on, and whoever is set had to bat till the 18th over or so. 130 or 140 would have been a good total, and maybe 145 would have been a good total if I had batted on. I just told the girls these are the last 20 overs, and we don't know when we'll get to play again. If we bowl 20 good overs, we'll win. From the first ball, I felt we could do it. We have some quality spinners. 135 would have been amazing, but 118 was also a good total on this wicket. [Senior players overseas] It was amazing to get to the net with the overseas players, and our youngsters. It was good to get some knowledge and exchange notes. For the youngsters, getting to hear from a Dottin is a headstart before you even make it to the national team."
Puneet Gaur: "Harman lost the match in a hero complex- dint show intent and there were decent strikers who dint get a chance " --- To be fair to her, by the time she walked in, the equation had already gone beyond run-a-ball. And her injury didn't help matters. I don't think blaming her helps. More a credit to how well Traiblazers pulled things back with ball and in the field. Used the conditions that helped them well. If anything, Harmanpreet would probably revisit her decision to chase.
Abhishek Bhatia: "I wholeheartedly agree with Rishi's "unpopular opinion" comment - a longer tournament is what the women cricket deserves and so do the fans. Unless it is tried out, it will never become financially viable. If teams are given a longer run and proper warm up time, we will definitely see fantastic and closely fought games of cricket."
Vihanga Perera: "I feel Ecclestone should be MVP, she has taken valuable wickets in each of their hands to ensure they are in the game, especially today with the wicket of Athapathu." --- Yes, so many worthy contenders. Especially among the bowling unit, for instance, Salma Khatun
Rajesh: "All TrailBlazers bowlers bowled very tight. Only one over went for more than 7 runs." --- Yes, I think we heard the secret from those post-match quotes. They kept it simple by bowling straight.
Jhulan Goswami: "The plan was to bowl wicket-to-wicket. We knew the wicket was keeping low, so we had to keep it within the stumps. We had that plan and we were able to execute it well. [On speaking with Ecclestone] I can tell you in the dressing room. I was just telling her to keep it within the stumps. The more you give width, the easier it gets for the batters. The rest I can tell you later. [On Chantam] She speaks the most in the dressing room. She's a great character, and she's got great energy. She's always got a smile on her face, and it's great to share a dressing room with a player from Thailand. It was a great honour. We would like to thank her for this opportunity."
Deandra Dottin: "I have always wanted to play this tournament, and to win the tournament has been good. Indeed, the pitch was struggling a bit, but Smriti was batting really well. I was just looking to give her the strike as much as possible."
Sophie Ecclestone: "We're a great team, and to win it this year is amazing. It's great to have a good team. As a bowler, it's nothing better to have than two of the best openers in the world."
Harleen Deol : "We had lost the last tournament quite closely against the Supernovas, so this time we wanted to avenge that. It feels good. We knew their game because we had played them before, and today the pitch was keeping a bit low and slow. So we kept to those plans."
Deepti Sharma: "During the lockdown, we have worked on some shots like the reverse sweep, inside out. We had worked plans out according to each batter. We knew it was a slow wicket, so we wanted to stick to our plans."
9.25pm The Trailblazers are the new champions of the Women's T20 Challenge. They have performed really well in this second half of the match. They had a great start with the bat, especially with Smriti Mandhana, with the bat, but then the Supernovas came back with their spinners leading the way, especially Radha Yadav. The Trailblazers have just taken up the cue and followed with their own bowling effort. Jhulan Goswami never gave anything away, and the likes of Salma Khatun, Sophie Ecclestone and Deepti Sharma just kept chipping away with wickets. Let's not forget the contribution today of Nattakan Chantam whose fielding effort was one of the highlights of this title clash.
Abhinav M Balak: "Do you know what I'm feeling?? Salma can be the possible MVP of this tournament. She was brought when the batting team looked to be inthe upper hand. She slowed things down really well in both the games against Supernovas. Wow! Absolutely brilliant."
tossed up around leg and middle, and she whips this towards deep mid-wicket. Two taken
down the wicket, but cramped for room by the bowler. Driven back to Ecclestone
fuller length, driven towards long-off
down the wicket, and strikes it hard towards sweeper cover. They look for two, and make it as well. Almost numerically over now
Rishi : "Unpopular opinion: The way this tournament has been conducted is just , for better words, BAD. It seems like the BCCI just wanted to show everyone that they are "commited" to women's cricket. Yes there have been tight matches but I think it can be agreed that it's more "everyone coming back after a long time"rather than skill level being put on display. What happens after this by the way? The women go back home and wait for eternity to know what the schedule is? Why couldn't they have waited for BBL to get over and then done a full fledged tournament? This is the best year on which they could have tried out a full fledged tournament since everyone is at home and almost entirely glued to their TV screens. It just pains me to see that a lot of people are satisfied with this effort from BCCI. Women's cricket deserves more!!"
driven hard, but straight to cover
A boundary off each ball. No biggie
down the wicket, lofts this towards long-off
Three wickets in the over already for the Trailblazers, who can smell their maiden Women's T20 Challenge trophy now
another one for Salma Khatun! Tossed up and just holds back the length a bit. Vastrakar looks to go big through the on side, but ends up top-edging this. Ecclestone is on hand at short-mid to collect this
length, goes back to cut this, and gets it to point. Quick single taken, and and though Khatun has collected and whipped the bails off, Radha has made it
that's probably the game for Trailbazers! Kaur again skips down the wicket, and Khatun keeps this on the stumps for once. Perhaps pushed through just a tad quicker, but Kaur had lost all shape in looking to flog this through the on side. She misses, Khatun hits the stumps, and lets out a celebratory roar. Kaur limps off after a game effort, but her fitness made it quite difficult on the night
Kaur skips down the wicket, and gets it to the left of deep square leg. The throw is at the non-striker's end, where Patil puts in the dive, but is about a foot short
Patil skips down the wicket, but can only skew a lofted shot towards deep mid-wicket. Dottin moves in quickly and keeps it down to one
Salma Khatun to bowl out
Ivan Dowling: "Cow corner is thought to be named after an area on the ground at Dulwich College where cattle would often graze - wikipedia, with a reference!" --- Thanks Ivan. You live, you learn. Vikram and Paul also relay the same information
length, driven towards cover. Throw is sharp, and Goswami is just unable to gather cleanly, otherwise there was a run out opportunity
fuller ball, and she drives this to the left of sweeper cover. They go for the second, and are able to make it, even though the throw is at Harmanpreet's end!
Abhinav M Balak: "Who will bowl the last 2 overs? Surely I love to see Salma to continue because she is slowing things down. So what's your opinion?" --- Ecclestone should get one for sure. and Deepti has been outstanding too. No shortage of options
length, drops it towards point and takes a single
slower ball, just around off, and she can only play it away to point for a single
Third man drops back to the boundary
swing and a miss! Seam-up, just around off, and she looks to go over mid-wicket, but it creeps underneath her bat
rahul arora: "Just heard it on air, why do they call midwicket as the cow corner?" --- Not entirely sure, but perhaps has something to do with how batters 'milk' that region for singles
length, angles into Harman, who flicks it towards deep mid-wicket
Rahul sharma: "Supernovas have won the last 2 finals on the last balls of 20th over. Can they do it again? "
34 off three overs. Goswami comes back to bowl out. They need a big over around the corner
skips down the wicket again, strikes it well, but straight back towards Khatun, who is bowling a splendid rearguard spell here with her off-spin
Sriram: "An oppurtunity lost to let Pooja come kn and hit a few. She is the future prospect and need to get her in such situations and learn"
off the back foot, whips this towards deep mid-wicket
|Sharjah Cricket Stadium|
|Toss||Supernovas, elected to field first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Player Of The Series|
|Series result||Trailblazers won the 2020/21 Women's T20 Challenge|
|Match days||09 November 2020 - night (20-over match)|