Domestic giants Railways clinched the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy for the 10th time, defeating Smriti Mandhana’s Maharashtra side by seven wickets in the final at Surat’s Lalbhai Contractor Stadium.
After opting to bat, Maharashtra captain Smriti Mandhana was only dismissed in the 19th over, making 84 off 56 balls. The was the highlight of the first innings as her side posted 160/4 in 20 overs.
But when it seemed the mighty Sneh Rana-led Railways could possibly put under pressure in the final with a big score to chase, S Meghana and D Hemalatha, with quick-fire half centuries, made sure the run-chase was completed with 11 balls to spare.
In the previous editions, Railways had won nine titles in this competition except in 2017-’18 (Delhi) and 2018-’19 (Punjab).
Senior Women's T20 Trophy winners
Maharashtra was off to a good start in the powerplay, with Mandhana dealing in boundaries while Shivali Shinde played second fiddle. Their 50-run stand came up in 5.2 overs with the scoreboard reading a healthy 60/0 at the end of the powerplay.
Mandhana’s half century and her team’s 100 came up in the 13th over with her third six off the innings. Then came a period of quieter overs from Railways. Mandhana and the middle order however ensured a strong finish for their side with 43 runs coming off the last four overs. Swagatika Rath was the pick of Railways bowlers, taking wickets at the start of couple of her overs and then adding the all important one of Mandhana in the end. Captain Sneh Rana and Poonam Yadav were expensive.
If Maharashtra had any chance of defending 160, they needed the wicket of S Meghana early. But the Indian opener who was so impressive in the New Zealand tour earlier this year, teed off nice and early. From 23 off 15 balls at the end of the third over, she raced to 39 off 21 with four more fours.
Railways were 54/0 in their 6 overs with Meghana on 44 off 23 including 9 fours while Nuzhat Parween watching on. Once the partnership ended with Maya Sonawane striking in her first over, it was Meghana’s turn to watch on as D Hemalatha continued her stunning tournament by taking over the run-chase from there, scoring the bulk of the runs when she was in the middle.
Meghana and Hemalatha both fell but Anjali Sarvani finished things off with a six with Sneh Rana unbeaten at the other end.
The tournament was not telecast or streamed.
Details of how the match unfolded in The Field’s live twitter thread here.