Smriti Mandhana-led Maharashtra defeated Baroda by six wickets at the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium in Surat on Monday to reach the final of the Women’s T20 Trophy.
Having defeated Himachal Pradesh in the quarterfinals, Maharashtra put in another fine performance to get the better of Baroda after winning the toss and restricting their opponents to 121/7.
Baroda were pegged back after openers Palak Patel and Tarannum Pathan were dismissed inside seven overs with just 17 runs on the board. Things went from bad to worse thereafter as skipper Radha Yadav didn’t last long either and scored just one run.
However, Baroda fought back from that point as Yastika Bhatia (71 off 45) and Jaya Mohite (22 off 22) added a 76-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Keeper-batter Bhatia was the aggressor in their stand and hit 10 fours and a six in her impressive knock.
But Maharashtra did well with the ball in the back end of the innings too as Baroda managed just 18 runs in the last three overs despite having six wickets in hand.
Right-arm medium pacer Utkarsha Pawar was the pick of the bowlers for Maharashtra. She bagged two wickets in the last over of the innings to finish with figures of 3/21 from her four overs.
In reply, skipper Mandhana started well and hit a six and a four but was dismissed for a-run-a-ball 13 in the third over. However, despite the massive blow early in the innings, the Maharashtra batters didn’t panic.
Opener Shivali Shinde (44 off 37) and Tejal Hasabnis (33 of 32) got together at the crease and put on a match-winning partnership of 55 runs. Baroda tried to fight back and picked four wickets but Devika Vaidya (21* off 22) and Mukta Magre (10* off 7) added an unbeaten stand of 26 runs to help their team finish with 125/4 (19.1 overs) and seal the win.
Right-arm medium pacer Nancy Patel, with the big wicket of Mandhana and figures of 1/23 from her four overs, was the standout bowler for Baroda.
Maharashtra will now await the winner of the second semifinal between Railways and Odisha, which is scheduled to be played later on Monday.
Images courtesy BCCI TV