Returning after a one yr hole, the Ladies’s T20 Problem wanted a grand opening and Harmanpreet Kaur-led Supernovas exceeded all expectations within the 2022 version opener.
It was the Supernovas who gained the toss and Harmanpreet opted to bat, saying: “First sport, so we wish to play freely.”
That freedom in method was fairly seen from the phrase go as West Indies’ damaging opener Deandra Dottin and India’s Priya Punia acquired them off to a flier on the MCA Stadium in Pune. Dottin relied on her brute power to muscle her pictures to the fences, whereas Punia was extra about crunchy drives and deft touches. The duo put collectively a gap partnership of fifty runs in 5 overs earlier than a direct hit from Bangladesh’s Sharmin Akhter despatched Dottin packing.
Nonetheless, Supernovas scored 58 within the powerplay which is a file for the Ladies’s T20 Problem. The earlier finest powerplay rating was 51, made by Supernovas in opposition to the identical opposition in 2018. This was adopted by strong middle-order batting.
After Punia’s departure, Harleen Deol and Harmanpreet took on the mantle. Harleen has been in some good type not too long ago. She belted 235 runs in seven matches of the recently-concluded Senior Ladies’s T20 Trophy as Himachal Pradesh made it to the quarterfinals.
In Pune, Harleen displayed some beautiful footwork together with her lower and pull pictures as she made a quick-fire 35 off 19. Most of Harleen’s worldwide cricket publicity has been in T20Is, however there have been query marks over her functionality to attain runs shortly. On Monday, she confirmed she has made robust progress on that entrance.
Harmanpreet added one other 37 runs off 29 balls and saved the scoring fee going even after the dismissal of Harleen. There have been small contributions from Sune Luus (10) and Pooja Vastrakar (14), but it surely was the top-order runs that helped Supernovas put up 163 in 20 overs — the best whole in Ladies’s T20 Problem historical past. It might have been much more if Supernovas had not misplaced 5 wickets within the final two overs together with a disappointing runout of Harmanpreet.
Trailblazers, in reply, acquired off to a cracking begin with captain Mandhana main the cost. That they had 63 on the board by 7.1 overs with Mandhana making 34 off 22, however what adopted was a heartbreaker. Six wickets fell within the subsequent 5 overs and Trailblazers had been lowered to 73/7 by the twelfth over.
The wrecker-in-chief was pacer Vastrakar whose shares have risen sharply because the terrific ODI World Cup she had in New Zealand earlier this yr. The 22-year-old dismissed each the openers — Hayley Matthews and Mandhana — earlier than additionally eradicating World Cup finalist Sophia Dunkley and Salma Khatun. Vastrakar’s glorious returns of 4/12 in 4 overs had Trailblazers succumb to a heavy 49-run defeat within the event opener. With Jhulan Goswami within the twilight of her profession and senior pacer Shikha Pandey going out of favour, fast-bowling all-rounder Vastrakar’s rise has come on the most opportune time.
Pacer Meghna Singh, who was Goswami’s new-ball companion on the World Cup, additionally had an honest evening for Supernovas returning with figures of 1/16 from three overs.
One other side of the sport that left an impression was the bottom fielding, particularly from Supernovas and the Indian contingent. Punia had an enormous function to play in Mandhana and Dunkley’s dismissal as she confirmed some nice agility contained in the circle to take two glorious catches. Harleen took two sensible catches within the deep with the forward-diving one to dismiss Jemimah Rodrigues at deep extra-cover taking the cake.
Sophie Ecclestone, the No 1 bowler in ladies’s cricket, and World Cup winner Alana King took two wickets every for the Supernovas. Matthews had three wickets for 29 whereas bowling for Trailblazers.
The worldwide superstars had an honest day, however in a sport that included the world No 1 bowler and a world champion, it was the Indians who stole the present as Supernovas crushed Trailblazers within the Ladies’s T20 Problem 2022 opener.
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