Red to take on Blue in final

Rajeshwari, Shikha, Poonam do star turn as Green crash out

Red to take on Blue in final

Led by impressive bowling performances from Rajeshwari Gayakwad (4/25) and Shikha Pandey (3/21), India Red thumped India Green by eight wickets via VJD Method to storm into the finals of the Women’s Challenger Trophy here at the SDNR Wadiyar stadium on Tuesday.

India Green batswomen never looked settled as wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals and they were bowled out for a paltry 125 in 47.2 overs. Rain then interrupted the match and the target was revised to 116 in 46 overs based on VJD method.

An unbeaten half-century from number three Poonam Raut (60) powered the Reds to the target in 31 overs. The Reds, with their all-win record, finished on top of the table with eight points to their credit. The Smriti Mandana-led side will take on India Blues, who ended second with four points, in the title clash on Wednesday.

Electing to bat, the Greens batting unit came a cropper for the second straight game, after their dismal show against India Blues on Monday.

The Reds found early breakthroughs through the 24-year old Rajeshwari, who removed opener Priya Punia (16) cheaply. The left-arm spinner from Vijayapura, scalped two more wickets to leave the Greens struggling at 42 for three in 18 overs. 

Shikha then complemented Rajeshwari’s efforts by rattling the middle order to leave the Greens with a modest target to defend.

Poonam then made sure there were no hiccups in the chase, as her patient knock, which included six boundaries and came off 103 balls, saw the Reds home. Poonam was ably assisted by Madhusmitha Bahera (29 n.o.) who was involved in an unbroken 77-run stand for the third wicket.

Brief scores: India Green: 125 all out in 47.2 overs (Shikha Pandey 3-21, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 4-25) lt to India Red: 119/2 in 31 overs (Punam Raut 60 n.o., Madhusmitha Bahera 29 n.o.).

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