Mithali Raj and Poonam Raut lead to Railway Women's victory by 9 runs © Getty Imahes
Mithali Raj and Poonam Raut lead to Railway Women’s victory by 9 runs © Getty Images

It was not an international match, but India were focused England’s tour match against India A at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, for it was the last time MS Dhoni walked out to toss in Indian colours. Elsewhere, in Indore, Mumbai and Gujarat were battling it out in the Ranji Trophy final. Far from all this, in an Elite Super League match of Senior Women’s T20 League 2017, Railways Women beat Hyderabad Women in what turned out to be an easy battle in the end. There was some scare after the Hyderabad openers put up a solid opening stand. However, the Railways attack turned out to be too strong in the end to secure 4 points.

Opening batting for Railways Women, Mithali Raj and Poonam Raut batted through the full innings at Railway Cricket Ground in Rajkot. While Poonam remained unbeaten with a 55-ball 66 (8 fours, 1 six), Mithali raced to her century, finishing on a round 100 not out with 16 fours and a six as Railways Women posted 167 without loss. The fact that Mithali hails from Hyderabad perhaps made it a bittersweet affair for her. For Hyderabad, Ananya Upendran did an excellent job with 14 runs from her 4 overs, but that was it.

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This was not a first for Mithali and Poonam in this series. In their previous match, against Kerala Women, Mithali (69*) and Poonam (68) had added 139 for the opening stand.

In response, Doli Ramya came out all guns blazing, adding 110 for the opening stand with captain Sravanthi Naidu before falling to Ekta Bisht. Ramya’s 43-ball 68 included 10 fours and a six, and Hyderabad needed 58 from 37 balls when she fell. However, Poonam Yadav took out two wickets in four balls while Swagathika Rath added another, keeping the Hyderabad batters on a stranglehold. Though Sravanthi kept hitting till the end (she remained not out on 73 from 58 balls with 6 fours and a six), Hyderabad lost by 9 runs.

Railways 167 for no loss in 20 overs (Mithali Raj 100*, Poonam Raut 66*) beat Hyderabad 158 for 4 in 20 overs (Doli Ramya 68, Sravanthi Naidu 73*; Poonam Yadav 2 for 27) by 9 runs.