Women's T20 Challenge Final: Trailblazers look to end Supernovas' dominance

If the last meeting between Supernovas and Trailblazers is anything to go by, there is certainly much to look forward to in the final at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Harmanpreet Kaur's Supernovas will take on Smriti Mandhana's Trailblazers in the 2020 Women's T20 Challenge final in Sharjah on Monday.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Supernovas and Trailblazers come face to face for the second time in three days. The stakes are higher this time around, with the Women's T20 Challenge trophy up for grabs.

If their last meeting is anything to go by, there is certainly much to look forward to in the final at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday. Supernovas, the winner of the tournament's two previous editions, had won that thriller by two runs, with left-arm spinner Radha Yadav bowling a superb last over.

And it was a must-win match for Harmanpreet Kaur's women as a loss would have knocked them out. Having won the nail-biting thriller, they have the momentum heading into the summit clash.

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However, they will have to bring out their best against a very strong and well-balanced Trailblazers outfit. Sri Lanka star Chamari Atapattu (43 and 67) and Harmanpreet (31 and 31) have looked like the only batters in form for the defending champion.

Batters like Jemimah Rodrigues, who disappointed in both the games, have to come up with significant scores. Opener Priya Punia may have struggled to keep the scoreboard ticking, but she made 30 and put on 89 for the first wicket with Atapattu. She showed her mates how to make a contribution even when not in great form.

Supernovas has a varied attack in the form of spinners Radha, Poonam Yadav and Anuja Patil and seamers Shakera Salman and Ayabonga Khaka. They would be particularly keen to get the wickets of the Trailblazers captain Smriti Mandhana and the hard-hitting Deandra Dottin. All-rounders Deepti Sharma and Harleen Deol – whose fifth-wicket partnership had nearly knocked out Supernovas – lend depth to the middle-order.

World's No. 1 T20 bowler Sophie Ecclestone, fellow left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad and experienced seamer Jhulan Goswami form a good attack, which had dismissed Velocity for 47.

The squads:

Supernovas: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Jemimah Rodrigues, Chamari Atapattu (SL), Priya Punia, Anuja Patil, Radha Yadav, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Shashikala Siriwardene (SL), Poonam Yadav, Shakera Selman (WI), Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastrakar, Ayushi Soni, Ayabonga Khaka (SA) and Muskan Malik.

Trailblazers: Smriti Mandhana (captain), Deepti Sharma, Punam Raut, Richa Ghosh, D. Hemalatha, Nuzhat Parween (wicket-keeper), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Harleen Deol, Jhulan Goswami, Simran Dil Bahadur, Salma Khatun (Ban), Sophie Ecclestone (Eng), Natthakan Chantham (Tha), Deandra Dottin (WI) and Kashvee Gautam.

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