THE MOHAMMEDAN SPORTING women's cricket team became the champions of the Byju's Bengal Women's T20 Blast, defeating Mohun Bagan in a thrilling final.
The Black Panthers defeated the Mariners by just 1 run to win the final, winning the tournament two seasons in a row.
Mohun Bagan, who made a debut in this tournament this season, were seen throughout the competition as the best possible challengers for the defending champions but they fell short of de-throning MSC by the slightest of margins.
Batting first, Mohammedan Sporting could only pick up 115 runs in the stipulated 20 overs. Some tight bowling from MB's Tithi Swarpan Das (4-0-16-2) and Debalina Samantha (3-0-13-2) played a crucial role in containing MSC; although Ankita Barman (40 off 39) provided a steady hand throughout the innings that got them to a competitive total.
Mohun Bagan started out well in their run chase and despite losing their first wicket early, a strong 58 run partnership between Dhara Gujjar and Priyanka Bala put them on the right track to victory. Dhara (29 off 34) was the second wicket to fall for Bagan and after this they were unable to put together a single viable partnership.
It was Priyanka's constant presence on one end that pushed MB towards their target, but even she fell to a run-out (53 off 54), leaving her team with 9 runs to chase down in the last 6 balls.
The game was a toss-up till the last ball, when Mohun Bagan were just one run short. In the nerve-wrecking climax of the match, Puja Rajak (5 off 3) was run out while attempting to score the run that would have tied the game.
Mohammedan Sporting saw a compact bowling performance across the board in their bid to restrict Mohun Bagan to 114. Sushmita Paul (3-0-14-1), Priya Pandey (4-0-19-1), Sanjana Kumari (3-0-15-1) and Priti Mondal (2-1-12-1) all played their part in never allowing the opponents to grow comfortable during the chase.
The MSC bowling line-up bore the classic signature of team effort that has come to underscore the club's women's cricket team. And with back to back T20 titles to their name they have become the de-facto rulers of Bengal's state level women's cricket.
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