Women's T20 challenge 2019 highlights: Jhulan Goswami denies Supernovas' Harmanpreet in last-over thriller

Jhulan Goswami won Trailblazers the match, defending two runs off the final ball.

Rajeshwari Gayakwad celebrates after getting the wicket of Chamari Athapaththu.   -  Sportzpics

Trailblazers emerged the victor by two runs in the first match of Women's T20 Challenge 2019, with Jhulan Goswami successfully defending 18 with 19 runs needed off the final over.

Supernovas innings

Jhulan Goswami successfully defends 18 and Trailblazers scraps home by two runs. With three runs needed off the final ball, Harmanpreet Kaur is beaten by a length ball outside off-stump. Ravi Kalpana runs out Lea Tahuhu. The experienced Goswami held her nerve after being hit for four fours off the first five balls.

The final ball of the penultimate over is a dot and Supernovas needs 19 runs off the final over. But Harmanpreet Kaur will be on strike. Jhulan Goswami to bowl the final over.

WICKET! Sophie Devine is out sweeping a straight ball from Sophie Ecclestone. The umpire took his time but made the right decision. Devine is out for 32 runs off 22 balls and Supernovas is 122 for five, needs 19 more runs off seven balls. Lea Tahuhu joins Harmanpreet Kaur.

Ten runs off the 18th over and Supernovas is 120 for four, needs a further 21 runs from 12 balls. Sophie Devine is striking the ball sweetly and holds the key to Supernovas chasing down 141. She hit her second six, also over deep midwicket, to make the 18th a big over and keep Supernovas in the hunt. Sophie Ecclestone into the attack.

Stafanie Taylor's first over goes for 9, Supernovas is 110 for four after 17 overs. It needs a further 31 runs from 18 balls. Deepti Sharma will bowl out.

Supernovas is 101 for four after 16 overs, needs a further 40 runs from 24 balls. We are set for an exciting finish to the first match of the Women's T20 Challenge. Stafanie Taylor, right-arm off-spinner, is into the attack now, with Harmanpreet Kaur and Sophie Devine in excellent touch.

At the end of the 15th over, Supernovas is 95 for four, needs a further 46 runs from 30 balls. Sophie Devine pulled Rajeshwari Gayakwad for a six over deep midwicket, comfortably clearing the longest boundary at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Deepti Sharma is back into the attack.

Eleven runs off the 14th over and Supernovas is 86 for four. Sophie Devine has begun confidently, hitting a couple of fours in the first six balls she has faced. She is currently batting on 11 off six balls and Supernovas needs 55 runs from 36 balls. Rajeshwari Gayakwad continues from the other end, into her last over now.

At the end of the 13th over, Supernovas is 75 for four, needs a further 66 runs from 42 balls.

WICKET! Rajeshwari Gayakwad has her second wicket, removes Natalie Sciver with another flighted delivery that induces a big shot and Sciver is caught at square leg. She departs for 1 and Supernovas is 74 for four, needs a further 67 runs from 45 balls. Sophie Devine has joined Harmanpreet Kaur. 

At the end of the 12th over, Supernovas is 74 for three after 12 overs. A couple of fours in quick succession from Harmanpreet Kaur breaks the shackles. The first four was a sweetly-timed inside-out shot and the second was a sweep behind square on the onside. Rajeshwari Gayakwad continues from the other end.

Supernovas is 64 for three after 11 overs. The onus is on Harmanpreet Kaur to up the ante. Supernovas needs a further 77 runs from 54 balls; only 22 runs have been scored in the last five overs, for the loss of two wickets. Harleen Deol, right-arm off-spinner, is into the attack.

WICKET! Rajeshwari Gayakwad removes Chamari Athapaththu for 26! It's a flighted delivery from round the wicket and the Sri Lankan batter goes for the big shot but picks out long on. Natalie Sciver is the new batter in.

Just two runs off the 10th over and Supernovas is 62 for two at the halfway mark. It needs a further 79 runs off 60 balls. The current partnership between Chamari Athapaththu and Harmanpreet Kaur is crucial.

Supernovas is 60 for two at the end of the ninth over. We have an interesting phase of play in our hands. Two clean ball-strikers out in the middle and two spinners are in operation as well. Sophie Ecclestone is back into the attack.

WICKET! Jemimah Rodrigues is run out for 24 off 19 balls. On her followthrough, Shakera Selman picks up the ball and hits the stumps direct at the striker's end to run out Rodrigues after she responded to a risky single call by Chamarai Athapaththu. Nine runs had come off the over already and Athapaththu was dropped twice (once on the midwicket boundary and once on the cover boundary) and the single was not necessary. Supernovas is 55 for one at the end of the eight over. India's left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad is into the attack. Trailblazers captain Harmanpreet Kaur has walked out to bat.

At the end of the seventh over, Super Novas is 46 for one, needs a further 95 runs from 78 balls. Shakera Selman continues as Trailblazers searches for a wicket.

Eight runs off the sixth over and Supernovas is 42 for one at the end of the powerplay. Deepti Sharma continues.

DROPPED! Trailblazers is all over the place on the field, its latest blemish comes via Deepti Sharma, who fails to hold on to a tough chance at mid-on to dismiss Jemimah Rodrigues who toed an attempted lofted shot. Deepti set herself nicely for the catch, but wasn't balanced enough to take the catch. Two balls later, there's a misfield from the fielder at mid-off, costing the team four more runs after she let the ball slip right through her hands.

At the end of the fifth over, Supernovas is 34 for one. Chamari Athapaththu found the boundary for the first time in the innings - pulling Deepti Sharma behind square on the onside. Jemimah Rodrigues and Athapaththu are pacing Supernovas chase beautifully. Shakera Selman is into the attack.

Eight runs off the fourth over and Supernovas moves to 27 for one. Jemimah Rodrigues finding the boundary again, this time off a cover drive off Sophie Ecclestone, helped Supernovas' cause. Off-spin bowler Deepti Sharma is into the attack, replaces Jhulan Goswami.

Eleven runs from the third over, with Jemimah Rodrigues finding the boundary twice, once because of a misfield from Deepti Sharma at cover and once via a signature pull shot off Goswami. Rodrigues looks in good rhythm! Supernovas is 19 for one, needs a further 122 runs from 102 balls.

Supernovas is eight for one after two overs. A steady start from Sophie Ecclestone and the approach of Jemimah Rodrigues will be key to Supernovas overhauling the chase of 141. Jhulan Goswami continues from the other end.

WICKET! Priya Punia is out trying to cut. She gets an outside edge and Ravi Kalpana completes the catch on the second attempt after the ball popped out after hitting her gloves. Jemimah Rodrigues is the new batter in.

At the end of the first over, Supernovas is 5 for no loss. Jhulan Goswami fairly accurate right through the over and Chamari Athapaththu and Priya Punia were in no hurry. Sophie Ecclestone, the England left-arm spinner, bowls from the other end.

Trailblazers innings

Trailblazers 140/5 after 20 overs: Mandhana perishes going for the big one and falls 10 short off a century. Radha Yadav picks up two wickets in the final over as the batters go looking for some quick runs. Trailblazers have put up a commendable total after being just 32/1 in 8 overs much thanks to Mandhana's stroke play. Will it be enough for them to defend against Supernovas? We will be back for the chase in a few moments.

More from P.K, Ajith Kumar: After a painfully slow start, the Trailblazers are giving plenty to cheer about for the small crowd. Talking of crowds, the friendly media manager of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, Manish Sharma, tells me there could be about 4,000 people for the match, which isn't bad for an event that hasn't been publicised much.

The 100-run stand between Harleen and Smriti comes to an end. Harleen goes for the slog in the penultimate over and hits it straight to long-on off the bowling off Sophie Devine. Trailblazers 136/2 after 19 overs. Smriti batting on 90 off 66 balls

Trailblazers 113/1 after 17 overs: Is it too late to up the ante now? With only three overs left in the contest and nine wickets in hand, the Trailblazers must really get going at this point of time. Although the first two maximums of the match come in the 16th and 17th over, have the Trailblazers really done enough to set a good target for the Supernovas to chase? Smriti on 73 off 58 balls.

Trailblazers 82/1 after 14 overs: After being just 32 at the end of 8 overs, Smriti and Harleen have upped the scoring. The pair has added 50 runs in the last six overs.

Trailblazers 62/1 after 11 overs: After going 22 balls without a boundary, Smriti has now smacked four to the fence in 12 balls.

Smriti has been trying to get the placement right on her inside out lofted cover drive and finally manages to do that off Poonam Yadav and scores her second boundary. Hartleen, too, gets in the act by stepping down the track and smashing Poonam to the boundary between long-on and deep mid-wicket.

It's been 20 deliveries since Smriti struck her last boundary... 21 now at the end of 8 overs. Trailblazers 31/1

Trailblazers 25/1 after 6 overs: Smriti has been coming down the track to the spinners but hasn't been able to get any sort of connection or elevation in her shots. An uncharacteristic 10 off 19 balls from the India opener so far. Superb bowling figures from Anuja: 3-1-7-1

Our reporter P.K. Ajith Kumar says hello from the pink city : Good evening from an extremely hot Jaipur; even at seven in the evening, the temperature doesn't drop much in this part of the world. At the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, there is already quite a bit of action. After a gorgeous boundary square of the wicket in the opening over skipper Smriti Mandhana has lost her opening partner in the second. Suzie Bates has been sent back by off-spinner Anuja Patil. Trailblazers 17 for one in four overs, after being put in.

A show of sportsmanship when Anuja ties Smriti's shoelaces. Sophie suggests one way to get Smriti out would have been to tie both her shoes together.

WICKET! Just as she says that Bates, the no. 1 batswoman in the world, gets a top edge and is snaffled up at the covers by Jemimah Rodrigues. Anuja Patil with the wicket off her third ball. Harleen Deol comes in at No. 3. A wicket-maiden to start from Anuja!

Sophie Devine on the mic: "We know how dangerous these batters can be once they get set"

Trailblazers 11/0 after 1 over: Smriti needed no invitation to put a half-tracker away through the point region for the first boundary of the tournament. A positive start for the Trailblazers.

Suzie Bates and Smriti Mandhana will take guard for Trailblazers. Natalie Sciver will bowl the first ball of the Women's T20 challenge.

Ahead of the Women's T20 Challenger, former India all-rounders Shantha Rangaswamy and Shubhangi Kulkarni have called on the BCCI to help widen the talent pool and raise the profile of women's cricket in the country. Read what they had to say in full here.

Here are the XIs for the evening

Trailblazers: Smriti Mandhana (c), Suzie Bates, Dayalan Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Harleen Deol, Stafanie Taylor (West Indies), Jhulan Goswami, R. Kalpana (wk), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shakera Selman (West Indies), Sophie Ecclestone (England)

Supernovas: Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), S Devine, C Atapattu, J Rodrigues, N Sciver, P Punia, T Bhatia (wk), A Patil, R Yadav, L Tahuhu, P Yadav

7:08 pm: Supernovas' Harmanpreet believes the track will help the bowlers early on to take wickets up front.

TOSS UPDATE: Supernovas win the toss and choose to field.

 

Read our reporter P.K. Ajith Kumar's preview of the T20 tournament

Topping the wish list for India’s women cricketers would be an Indian Premier League for them. It could be the biggest boost to the women’s cricket in India since Harmanpreet Kaur’s 171 not-out against Australia in the 2017 World Cup semifinal.

But is India quite ready for a league? Will it generate enough interest? Will it be financially viable? Will it attract corporate sponsorship and are there enough local talents to feed multiple teams? Some of those questions could be answered over the next one week. The Women’s T20 Challenge, which opens at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Monday, could be seen as a trial for the real thing.

It isn’t the first time the BCCI is organising such an event, though. Last year, there was one match held at Mumbai during the IPL. But, it started at 2 pm — not the ideal time for a game in hot summer.

So, not many people turned up to watch the game even though it turned out to be an exciting contest, decided on the last ball. The timing was hardly perfect for television either.

More suitable timings

The BCCI has got it right this time around, though. Except for one match, which begins at 3.30 pm, all matches will begin at 7.30 pm.

And there are more teams, and therefore, more matches, too. The pool of foreign players is larger as well despite the absence of the Australians who have had to miss a great opportunity because of an issue between the boards of the two countries over a men’s ODI series.

Read | Overseas players keen on women's IPL

Among the big names from abroad are Danielle Wyatt (England), Amelia Kerr (New Zealand), Stafanie Taylor (West Indies), Chamari Athapaththu (Sri Lanka) and Jahanara Alam (Bangladesh). They will join virtually the who-is-who of Indian women’s cricket — like Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet and Jhulan Goswami.

Mithali, Smrithi and Harmanpreet — who form the terrific trio of Indian batting — will lead the three teams: Velocity, Trailblazers and Supernovas. These women must be determined to prove that just like men in the IPL, they can entertain, too.

The past five weeks had seen full houses to watch most of Rajasthan Royals’ matches here. It will be interesting to see if the city responds to women’s cricket as enthusiastically as venues like Indore and Guwahati have in recent times. India’s cricket-playing women deserve all the support they can get. They have worked incredibly hard to reach where they are.

Entry is free for all the contests.

The match will be streamed live on Hotstar.

The teams (from)

Supernovas: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Anuja Patil, Arundhati Reddy, Chamari Athapaththu (Sri Lanka), Jemimah Rodrigues, Lea Tahuhu (New Zealand), Mansi Joshi, Natalie Sciver (England), Poonam Yadav, Priya Punia, Radha Yadav, Sophie Devine (New Zealand), Taniya Bhatia (wk). Coach: W. V. Raman

Trailblazers: Smriti Mandhana (c), Bharti Fulmali, Dayalan Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Harleen Deol, Jasia Akhtar, Jhulan Goswami, R. Kalpana (wk), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shakera Selman (West Indies), Sophie Ecclestone (England), Stafanie Taylor (West Indies), Suzie Bates (New Zealand). Coach: Biju George.