Supernovae 146 of 6 (Atapattu 67, Kaur 31, Punia 30, Goswami 1-17) beat Trailblazers (Sharma 43 *, Mandhana 33, Radha 2-30, Selman 2-31) for two runs

Radha Yadav, unnerved, defended nine runs of the last in a must-have match for the Supernovas against the Trailblazers, setting up a final clash against the same opposition on November 9 in Sharjah. After allowing six runs of the first four balls, he smartly pulled his length back and shifted his wider line for Anuja Patil to catch an advancing Harleen Deol in extra coverage. Then, with three to ward off the final ball, Yadav threw an arm ball at Sophie Ecclestone’s platform for one point to give the Supernovae a chance to defend their title on Monday.

When Smriti Mandhana was fired 33 for 40 balls, the Trailblazers needed 64 of 45 with seven wickets in hand. Then when Yadav had D Hemalatha score four, they needed 56 of 30 balls. Deepti Sharma and Deol hit four straight fours in a gripping 52-run partnership, but Yadav’s variations under pressure negated it.

Earlier in the night, starter Chamari Atapattu had taken off for the Supernovas, scoring 67 on 48 balls. She claimed 29 of the 50 runs the Supernova did in the power game and then turned it into a 37-ball half-century. Their captain Harmanpreet Kaur overcame a tepid start to raise the Supernovae even higher to 146, which proved enough in the end.

Atapattu stamps his authority

As Priya Punia struggled to find the holes in the early exchanges, Atapattu kept nailing sweeps and lofts. She lined up Sharma’s insane breaks, taking her for 21 of just nine balls. After the field restrictions were relaxed, Atapattu fearlessly hit the ball overhead. Despite the presence of three outfielders on the sides of the legs, he swept Rajeshwari Gayakwad on the square leg for six. It was very fitting that she raised her fifty with another sweep, in front of Deol.

Atapattu’s assault allowed Punia some breathing room, but she too later proved that she could execute the sweep, dragging Ecclestone to the edge of the midwicket. It took an athletic catch from Sharma to knock out Punia and cut through the starting tier at 89. Shortly after, Atapattu and Jemimah Rodrigues fell to leave their side at 122-3.

More to follow …