Yastika Bhatia, Palak Patel, Harleen Deol and Pooja Vastrakar shine on opening day of Senior One-Day Challenger Trophy

Akash Ghosh
04 Dec 2021
Yastika Bhatia, Palak Patel, Harleen Deol and Pooja Vastrakar shine on opening day of Senior One-Day Challenger Trophy

Yastika Bhatia, Harleen Deol and Pooja Vastrakar. © Getty Images

Backed by the fifties of Palak Patel and Harleen Deol, India B managed to outclass India A by seven wickets in a game which went almost down to the wire, on the opening day of the " rel="noopener noreferrer">Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy 2021 in Vijayawada on Saturday (December 4). In the other match, India D turned out to be too good for India C, handing them a 40-run defeat. 

Having won the toss, India B skipper Taniya Bhatia elected to field first on a wicket where runs were expected to flow. Opening the batting for India A, Shivali Shinde started off well scoring 31 runs from 45 balls. But, she lost her opening partner Jhansi Lakshmi in the eighth over of the match. A sort of mini-collapse led India A to a situation where they found themselves struggling at 68 for 3. 

Batting at no. 3, Yastika Bhatia, who is looking to make her case for the World Cup squad stronger played a superb knock. Combining with Vidarbha batter Disha Kasat, the southpaw looked in sublime touch, pulling things together for her team. While Kasat took her time initially, Yastika made sure that the team continued to scare at a fair clip. 

Their partnership of 100 runs came in 21 overs which put India A in a relatively strong position. However, once Kasat fell for 35, things started to get a bit shaky for her side. Yastika was soon dismissed for a well-made run-a-ball 81. Skipper Sneh Rana made a handy contribution of 18 runs, but the momentum shifted in favour of India B. 

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Sushree Dibyadarshini’s 22-ball 30 helped India A get to 234 in their allotted 50 overs, but regular strikes meant they didn’t get the required acceleration towards the end of the innings finishing with a total of 234.

For India B, Chandu V was the pick of bowlers finishing with a spell of 3 for 30 from her nine overs. 

In reply, India B didn’t get a fiery start, but consolidated with openers Palak and S Shubha batting without giving an inch to the bowlers. Their partnership, which was initially slow, laid a solid platform for the run-chase. Their stand of 101 runs was eventually broken by Mehak Kesar who dismissed Shubha for 42 runs in the 24th over. Harleen Deol, batting at no. 3, provided the kick which the innings required, combining with Patel for another solid stand. 

The 68-run partnership between the two came in just 76 balls. Patel was eventually dismissed for 79 runs. The momentum did shift in favour of India A for just a while but Deol with her knock of 62 kept her side well and truly in the game. Simran Dil Bahadur picked up Deol, with the equation reading 24 runs needed off 21 balls. But, Humaira Kazi, who took some time to get her eye in, managed to smash a couple of important boundaries just in time to make sure the match didn’t go to the last ball. She remained unbeaten on 39 runs with Taniya Bhatia at the other end unbeaten on eight, as India B sealed the deal with seven deliveries and seven wickets to spare. 

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In the other game, India D won the toss and elected to bat first. ​​Sabbhineni Meghana and " rel="noopener noreferrer">Indrani Roy started things off nicely putting up an opening stand of 58 runs in 14.1 overs. Roy was dismissed for 31, but Meghana, continued her good form in recent times to notch up a fifty. She was eventually dismissed for 60. However, that good start was diluted completely by the halfway stage in the innings as India D slipped from 105 for 1 to 110 for 4. Amanjot Kaur scored 32 runs while Sanjula Naik scored 19 runs. However, the momentum of the innings started to shift after skipper Pooja Vastrakar came out to bat at No. 7. 

She contributed heavily to the total and managed to score some quick runs at the death. At the 40th over mark, India D were 168 for 6, but Vastrakar’s unbeaten 54 runs from 43 balls helped them get back in the game. She was well supported by Saika Ishaque’s 14-ball 24.

Scoring 83 runs in the last 10 overs, India D finished on 251 for 8 in their 50 overs. For India C, Radha Yadav was the pick of the bowlers managing figures of 3 for 47 in her 10-over spell. 

In reply, India C started off the proceedings well with Priya Punia and Dhara Gujjar forming a 63-run stand from just 13 overs. Punia was dismissed for 32 while Gujjar fell a few overs later for 33. Shipra Giri’s 43 and Anushka Sharma’s 38 kept them in the game as the pair put on 67 runs together. However, by the time their stand ended in the 38th over, the required rate was already beyond eight runs per over, making it extremely difficult for the team. 

In an attempt to accelerate, they kept losing wickets as India D closed the game out by bowling India C for just 211 runs, winning the game by 40 runs. Kanika Ahuja starred with the ball for India D picking up figures of 4 for 37. 

Brief scores: 

India A 234 all out in 50 overs (Yastika Bhatia 81, Disha Kasat 35; Chandu V 3-30, KN Ramyashri 2-33) lost to India B 237/3 in 48.5 overs (Palak Patel 79, Harleen Deol 62; Simran Dil Bahadur 2-39) by seven wickets. 

India D 251/8 in 50 overs (S Meghana 60, Pooja Vastrakar 54*; Radha Yadav 3-47, Shikha Pandey 2-48) beat India C 211 all out in 49.2 overs (Shipra Giri 43, Anushka Sharma 38; Kanika Ahuja 4-37, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2-39) by 40 runs. 

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