Cricket

Pooja fashions Supernovas’ win over Trailblazers

Stellar show: Pooja had the Trailblazers batters in knots.

Sportzpics/IPL

Stellar show: Pooja had the Trailblazers batters in knots. Sportzpics/IPL | Photo Credit: Sportzpics/IPL

On a Monday night, caressed by a gentle wind at the MCA Stadium here, the Women’s T20 Challenge made its much-awaited return after a year’s interval. The opening match proved something of a mismatch, however, as defending champion Trailblazers was humbled by Supernovas by 49 runs.

Chasing Supernovas’ 163, the highest total in the tournament’s history, Trailblazers batters struggled after a promising first-wicket stand of 39 in five overs between skipper Smriti Mandhana (34, 23b, 4x4) and Hayley Matthews (18, 14b, 2x4, 1x6). Trailblazers collapsed spectacularly — from 63 for one to 73 for seven — against a disciplined bowling attack backed by fine fielding.

The West Indian was first to go. She made room to hit Pooja Vastrakar over the off-side, only to nick to the ’keeper. The impressive seamer then removed Smriti, who fell to a superb, tumbling catch at mid-on by Priya Punia.

In the same over, Priya came up with another fine catch to send Sophia Dunkley back. Pooja’s splendid spell would read four for 12 from four overs.

Earlier, batting first after winning the toss, openers Deandra Dottin (32, 17b, 5x4, 1x6) and Priya (22, 20b, 2x4, 1x6) gave a great start for Supernovas; 50 was up on the board in the fifth over.

The intent was clear when Priya stepped out and lofted Renuka Singh’s last ball of the first over for a six. The medium-pacer went for more in her second over, as Dottin smashed three fours.

The West Indian, in fact, was looking in ominous touch when a direct hit from Sharmin Akhter had her run-out, going for a second run that simply wasn’t there. She was followed in the dug-out a couple of overs later by Priya, who was bowled, trying to pull Matthews.

The third wicket-stand between Harleen Deol (35, 19b, 5x4) and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (37, 29b, 4x4) took the score to 100 in the 12th over. Then, Harleen was trapped lbw by Salma Khatun, despite a review. The total, however, proved more than enough.

Today’s match: Supernovas vs Velocity, 3.30 p.m.


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Printable version | May 24, 2022 2:01:25 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/pooja-fashions-supernovas-win-over-trailblazers/article65454945.ece