The first match of the Senior Women’s cricket Challenger Trophy 2018-19 saw a remarkable match between India Blue and India Red at the Devineni Venkata Ramana Praneetha Ground, Mulapadu with India Blue claiming an unlikely victory, overhauling India Red’s rather modest total of 129, after being reduced to 24/8.

Opting to bat first, India Red, lead by India international Shikha Pandey were shot down for 129 in 45 overs. Medium pacer Reema Lakshmi Ekka claimed 2/26 in her seven overs while left-arm pacer Tanuja Kanwer grabbed 2/20 in her 10 overs.

However, little did the duo know they would have to play a key role with the bat as well to take their team to victory.

Chasing the target, India Blue’s batting imploded as the Punam Raut-led batting unit were blown away by the right-arm medium of Komal Zanzad (3/12) and left-arm spin of Radha Yadav (3/26). Off-spinner Tarannum Pathan claimed one as India Blue found themselves out of the game at 24/8.

But, No.8 batter, 21-year-old Manali Dakshini – a pacer by trade – revived the chase with a 56-run stand with Kanwer for the ninth wicket. Kanwer departed to Pathan after scoring 19 in the 35th over with the score on 82. Ekka then forged a matching-winning stand of 48 runs, out which she scored 29. Dakshini remained unbeaten on 49 as India Blue beat India Red by one wicket and 25 balls to spare.