Defending champions Railways beat Goa by three runs in a nail-biting clash at the Holkar Stadium, Indore to be crowned champions of the Senior Women’s T20 League (Elite). Young Maharashtra all-rounder Devika Vaidya claimed a hat-trick to guide her team to second position in the table after a five-wicket win over Odisha.
Railways v Goa: Rlys 76/9 (Harmanpreet Kaur 16, Sonali Gaunder 3/20) beat Goa 73/8 (Sunanda Yetrekar 24, Sneh Rana 3/17) by 3 runs
Defending a small target, Railways got off to a perfect start by claiming three quick wickets inside 10 runs. All-rounder Sunanda Yetrekar put up a brave fight and added 24 runs for the fourth wicket, the highest in the match, as Goa made an important recovery. The chase was derailed when the partnership was broken in the 11th over owing to a run-out. While Sunanda fought hard from the other end, her wicket on the final ball of the 17th over gave Railways a huge opening. Sunanda was dismissed by Sneh Rana, who also took two more wickets.
With 12 runs needed in three overs and later nine in two, Goa were in a position to upset their more fancied opponents when they needed four off the last over. It was at this stage that Railways proved why they are the best team in the country. While one big hit would have sealed the deal, senior international Niranjana Nagrajan astonishingly bowled a wicket maiden as Railways recorded a memorable victory. Bowling the 18th and 20th over, Niranjana bowled nine dot balls while giving away just three runs.
With three wins in as many games, Railways topped the table and won the title yet again.
Odisha v Maharashtra: Odisha 80/8 (Sarita Meher 23, Devika Vaidya 4/14) lost to 81/5 (Smriti Mandhana 31, Sushree Dibyadarshini 3/20) by 5 wickets
Maharashtra finished second in the points table after their convincing five wickets win over Odisha in the second match of the day. Recently named the best junior cricketer, 18-year-old Devika Vaidya claimed a hat-trick to finish with impressive figures of four for 14. Bowling the final over, Devika struck on the second, third and fourth ball as Odisha were restricted to 80/8.
Young Devika was then asked to open the innings and though she made only eight, her opening partner and captain Smriti Mandhana struck 31 in 29 balls while one-drop Snehal Jadhav made 14 as the two shared a 23-run stand for the second wicket. Though Maharashtra lost few quick wickets later, they had little trouble in overcoming the small target.
Odisha ended their campaign as the bottom-placed team after losing all their leagues.
On Friday, Mumbai will face Uttar Pradesh in the Plate League final at the JSCA International Stadium, Ranchi.