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Mumbai: Gujarat giants handed Royal Challengers Bangalore their third consecutive defeat in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) here on Wednesday, thrashing the top-flight by 11 matches to record their first win in three matches.
After brilliant half-centuries from Sophia Dunkley (65) and Harleen Deol (67) pushed the Gujarat giants to a formidable 201 for 7 after batting first, their bowlers did a decent job, restricting RCB to 190 for 6 in their 20s.
RCB opener and New Zealand batsman Sophie Devine played quite a hand in their chase, hitting a well-executed 66 from 45 balls with four fours and six sixes.
Towards the end, Heather Knight (30 not out off 11 balls) provided RCB a glimmer of hope, but the challenge of scoring 33 runs off the last two overs and 24 off the final over proved too much for the Bangalore team.
RCB’s star batter and captain Smriti Mandhana flopped once again, falling for 18 while Ellyse Perry (32) also failed to score big despite having a start and part of a special partnership of 43 runs with Devine for the second wicket.
“Even in our bowler, we gave away 10-15 runs more than what we expected. There were three overs where we conceded a lot, not 6-7 runs,” Mandhana said after the match.
“We would have been better (with the goal) otherwise. It was a good outfield, a really short end, played with some of our bowlers, we tried to work on it. ” After scoring more than 200 runs for the second time in three matches in the WPL, RCB looked set to challenge the target set by Gujarat Giants when Devine took the offensive route and Mandhana plays second fiddle in the game.
The right-handed New Zealand batsman hit Kim Garth for a couple of fours in the third over and had three boundaries against Annabel Sutherland in the fifth over.
The opening partnership lasted for 5.1 overs with Mandhana and Devine putting on 54 runs, when the first initiative was provided by Ashleigh Gardner, who had the RCB captain caught at mid-on by Mansi Joshi.
In the 10th over, Gujarat captain Sneh Rana took a hard hit to his hands off a powerful comeback stroke from Perry. Rana finished after the first treatment but left the scene soon after.
Perry and Devine keep the ship steady but the lack of boundaries leads to gradually increasing pressure on them. The right-handed Perry hit two fours to Joshi in the 12th over, but hit one straight to short third man who had made 32 off 25 balls with four fours in total.
It wasn’t until the first ball of the 14th over that RCB hit their first six, with Devine clearing the ropes against Tanuja Kanwar to break the chains as RCB needed another 85 from the last six overs at the asking rate of 14.
With 77 needed off the last five overs, Gardner suffered another blow against RCB, leaving Richa Ghosh bowled for 10.
Gujarat Giants captain Sneh Rana praised the effort by his players.
“Defending here at CCI is never easy, I know it’s a tough game, a high scoring game. We live according to the game,” he said.
“We are a balanced team, we have good batters and we have a good mix of players. It’s what we’ve been looking for since the first win and now we’ve got (the win).” Earlier, Beth Mooney continued to stay out of the field as Rana won and elected to bat first for Gujarat Giants.
England’s Dunkley and Deol made strong contributions, with the former playing an aggressive attack to provide a strong head start and the latter improving the innings with several other batters in action.
Dunkley hit his runs at a strike rate of 232.1, hitting 14 fours and six sixes to race for 65 from just 28 balls while Deol scored with 67 from just 45 balls, hitting nine fours and six sixes during your stand in the middle. .
Dunkley also recorded the fastest fifty of the WPL so far.
Deol was involved in two fifty-plus stands that set the foundation for the total, with an opposition team recording a total of over 200 for the second time in three matches against RCB at the Brabourne Stadium here.
Deol, who moved up to the third spot in the list of most runs in the WPL (113 runs), also had two lives late in his innings.
Dunkley launched his powerplay after a slow start, welcoming Renuka Singh with a brilliant six over the cover region.
The England batsman took a special liking to Bose, hitting the RCB spinner for four boundaries and a six in the fifth over to claim 23 runs and take a stunning 18-ball 50, with the help of nine fours and six sixes.
The right-handed batsman continued his attack, hitting a six and a four off Shreyanka Patil to bring up his stand of 50 with Deol off just 26 balls. Patil, however, had Dunkley hit one straight to Heather Knight off to end his innings.