Women's T20 Challenge: Meghana shows who's boss on the big stage

This time, Meghana was in the playing XI. more importantly she was opening the batting. It’s the moment she had been waiting for. 

Published: 27th May 2022 12:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th May 2022 09:18 AM   |  A+A-

No bowler was spared by Meghana and she reached her 50 in 32 balls. (Photo | Twitter)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: “Har team mein sirf ek hi gunda ho sakta hai, aur is team ka gunda main hoon. (Every team can have only one rowdy and in this team, that's me)” That famous Shahrukh Khan dialogue from 'Chak De India' was all Sabbineni Meghana had to say to Jemimah Rodrigues, the host, in the Trailblazers dressing room video shared by the official IPL handle in the lead-up to the ongoing Women’s T20 Challenge.

But when she did not start in the first match, it left everyone with so many questions. After all, it was a three-team, four-match tournament. Having lost their first match, the Smriti Mandhana-led side was under the pump as they took the field in a must-win game against Velocity at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Thursday.

This time, Meghana was in the playing XI. more importantly she was opening the batting. It’s the moment she had been waiting for. But then, being on the waitlist before getting an opportunity on the big stage is something she is used to. It had been the story of her career in the last four years even with the Indian team. Meghana made her T20I debut in 2016 as a 20-year-old before falling through the cracks. For years, she had been toiling in the domestic circuit. When she eventually broke doors down with her performances in 2020 and 2021, Meghana showed what she was capable of in the bilateral series in New Zealand. And yet, she did not make it to the World Cup 15. She was in the reserves, yet again.

Which is why, when the moment arrived in Pune, she was ready for it. Kate Cross was welcomed with back-to-back boundaries down the ground as Meghana hit the England pacer through the line — something she is known for. Cross came back to dismiss Mandhana in her next. But it did not matter that Mandhana was back in the pavilion; for Thursday was going to be all about Meghana. Two balls later, Meghana sent Cross downtown, once again, with that straight elbowed loft of hers. When she was given width, the pacer was cut fiercely behind point and the ball reached the ropes in no time.

Sneh Rana was driven through extra cover, Radha Yadav was sent over the ropes through the same region — which, too, was one of Meghana specials. No bowler was spared by her and she reached her 50 in 32 balls. Rodrigues, who was also left off the World Cup side, made a statement of sorts at the other end with 66 off 44 balls. So much so that Deepti Sharma had to bring on Shafali Verma to bowl, but Meghana hit her nonchalantly to the sight screen.

Meghana eventually got out for 73 runs from 47 balls. Trailblazers finished with 190/5. They would go on to win by 16 runs, which unfortunately wasn't enough to qualify for the final.

But before all that, as she said in the video a few days ago, Meghana had shown the world what kind of a “gunda” she is in the only opportunity she got in the tournament.

Brief scores: Trailblazers 190/5 in 20 ovs (Meghana 73, Rodrigues 66; Bahadur 2/31) beat Velocity 174/9 in 20 ovs (Navgire 69; Gayakwad 2/44)


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