India Blue clinch Challenger Trophy

India Blue clinch Challenger Trophy

Skipper Harman Preet Kaur followed up her useful knock (47) with a three-wicket haul while Preeti Bose turned in a match-changing bowling performance (5/43) as India Blue emerged champions in the inaugural Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy tournament, beating India Red by 18 runs in the final here at the SDNR Wadiyar Ground on Wednesday.

After posting 180 all out in 49.5 overs, Blue dismissed Red for 162 in 48.1 overs to lift the trophy. After being put into bat first, Blue made a steady progress reaching 138 for three at the end of 40th over before they lost wickets in a clutch. Only one of the last six batswomen could get to double digits as Blue lost all of them while adding just 38 runs.

The good work, however, by their top-order helped them what eventually proved to be a winning target. While Sarika Koli (26) and MD Thirush Kamini (22) added 34 for the opening wicket, one-drop Paramit Roy chipped in with 31 before Harman Preet provided some momentum with a 69-ball 47 (4x4), the top score of the innings.

Red, with captain Smriti Mandhana (52, 88b, 4x4, 1x6) leading from the front, got off to good start, milking 61 runs for the opening wicket. There was nothing to choose between the two sides as Red reached 132/3 in 41 overs and looked set for a win. That’s when Preeti and Harman Preet got into the act.

The left-arm spin of Preeti and the off-spin of Harman Preet (3/22) proved too much for Red who collapsed from a comfortable 132/3 to 162 all out, losing their last seven wickets for 30 runs in the space of seven overs.   

Brief scores: India Blue: 180 all out in 49.5 overs (Sarika Koli 26, Paramita Roy 31, Harman Preet Kaur 47; Snehal Pradhan 2-27, Rajeshwari G 2-28) bt India Red 162 all out in 48.1 overs (Smriti Mandhana 52, Poonam Raut 29; Preeti Bose 5-43, Harman Preet Kaur 3-22).

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