The opening game of the Women’s T20 Challenge provided its fair share of thrill and drama with a nail-biting affair which the Supernovas lost to the Trailblazers by just two runs in Jaipur.
Chasing 141 for a win, Harmanpreet Kaur and Sophie Devine stitched a 48-run stand for the fifth wicket to get the side close but Supernovas fell just short. Speaking at the post-match press conference Devine said that they should have ideally gone for their shots slightly early in the chase especially with the surface playing a few tricks.
“It was disappointing to get so close and lose. We probably left it a little too late in the end there," the New Zealand international remarked.
“Needing 30 off the last three overs on a pitch which was a bit tricky was probably asking a bit too much."
The Supernovas captain, Harmanpreet did try her best though slamming four fours off five balls in the last over with the team needing 19 to win but missed the final delivery to fall agonisingly short.
“Harmanpreet can do those things and she took us very close a great win," Devine said. “We have got a few things that we need to work on as a team and luckily we have got a few days off where we can train together and come up with some plans to take on Velocity."
While the Sawai Mansingh Stadium wasn’t exactly packed, there was plenty of support for the two teams playing which impressed Devine a lot. She admitted it is “unfortunate" women’s cricket still does not attract the same crowds as men’s cricket does but was confident more people will come in after having watched Monday’s game.
“I have just been told it was Election Day here and to have that amount of support was fantastic," she said. “They certainly made a lot of noise and it was fantastic out in the middle.
“It is an unfortunate thing that in women’s cricket we don’t fill the big crowds yet but hopefully, with the kind of game that was shown tonight people will come and watch for themselves live. We would absolutely love to get the big crowds in."
Devine also praised the local talent that she has come across stating that the pool of domestic players she has watched has left her really excited. The 29-year-old further said that the chance to play at on such a world stage with players from different nationalities has been great.
“I have been very impressed and all the other overseas players have been very impressed with the standard of domestic players," Devine said. “The fielding, that is something Indian cricket has come a long way in. We have seen it in the last couple of series that they have played, it has been fantastic.
“The opportunity to come up here and perform on the world stage and the IPL is great. We love to come here and share our experiences with other players. Not only other overseas players but domestic and local players, it is awesome."
Harleen Deol, the Trailblazers all-rounder, who played a useful 36 and was involved in a 119-run stand with Smriti Mandhana (90) said that the chance to interact with the overseas players has been incredible.
“It is a great experience. We learn things from them and they are very frank with us. They share their thoughts, they share their views. We are very grateful that we are sharing the dressing room with them," said Deol.
With the opening game not attracting a lot of attention, Deol said that it was a gradual process and she was hopeful more people will turn up for the rest of the games.
“The crowd was pretty strong today too. We can’t expect everyone to turn up suddenly, it is a gradual process and we are hopeful in the next matches more people will come in to watch us play," Deol quipped.
“It will take time to reach the level that men’s cricket has reached but I am sure it will reach."
Deol was also confident that a full-fledged Women’s IPL season was not far away. “Last year there was one game, this year there are four, so hopefully we have a full Women’s IPL next season onwards. We all want it and the BCCI is taking the correct steps towards it," she said.