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RCB vs GG: Third consecutive loss for RCB in WPL 2023
Gujarat Giants beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in Match 6 of the TATA WPL on Wednesday at the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai.
Sophia Dunkley and Harleen Deol sparkled with the bat while Asleigh Gardner starred with the ball for GG as the Giants registered their first points on the table.
Sophia Dunkley set the tone with a blistering 28-ball 65. Harleen Deol then played a counter-attacking innings of 67 off 45 balls to help GG post 201/7.
Asleigh Gardner then bowled a vital spell of 3/31 as GG edged RCB by 11 runs to get their first win on the board.
Chasing a 202-run target, RCB captain Smriti Mandhana and Sophie Devine provided a breezy start. Mandhana got going with a couple of fours off Tanuja Kanwar in the second over. Devine hit three fours in the next over, off Kim Garth. The boundary flow continued as Devine hit three fours in a row off Annabel Sutherland. RCB reached 50 in the fifth over.
Asleigh Gardner then broke the 54-run opening stand as she had Mandhana caught at mid off. RCB scored 59/1 in the Powerplay.
Gujarat Giants pulled back things, conceding 29 off the next five overs. Ellyse Perry then tried to up the ante with consecutive fours off Mansi Joshi. But the GG pacer bounced back to remove Perry a ball later. Devine though continued to attack with a couple of powerful fours, off Garth and brought up her fifty off 36 balls.
Richa Ghosh opened her account with a couple of edged fours, off GG captain Rana. With 77 needed off 30, GG captain Rana brought on Gardner who had bowled a brilliant couple of overs. And She struck straightaway, cleaning up Ghosh for 10.
Knight tried to keep things moving, hitting consecutive fours off Gardner. But a crucial moment arrived in the next over as Devine smacked a slower short one over deep mid-wicket for six but ended up mis-hitting the next ball, a full toss, straight to long-on on 66 (45).
Knight continued to hit boundaries as she hit a couple of well-placed fours to third man and then flicked one through square leg, off Sutherland to make it at 23-run over (which also had the wicket of Devine).
With 44 needed off 18, Kanika Ahuja hit a couple off Rana. RCB garnered 11 from that over which was below the required run rate. Gardner came back for her last over in the 19th over and she struck off the first ball again as she had Ahuja stumped. Knight though ended the over with a massive six over deep mid-wicket, making it 9 off the over.
The equation was still really tough with 24 needed off 6. But crucially for GG, Knight wasn’t on strike. Sutherland picked up a wicket off the first ball, having Poonam Khemnar caught at short fine leg. Sutherland gave away just two singles off the next two balls. With 22 needed off 3, Shreyanka Patil hit a six and a four. Sutherland made sure she didn’t make any errors off the last ball and bowled a dot as GG won by 11 runs. Knight remained unbeaten on 30 off 11 balls.
Earlier, Gujarat Giants captain Sneh Rana won the toss and elected to bat first. They went unchanged from the last match while Royal Challengers Bangalore made one change as Poonam Khemnar replaced Disha Kasat.
Megan Schutt started off well and bowled a maiden first up. She got a hint of in-swing and beat Meghana’s outside edge in the over. The first eight balls of the innings were dots. Sophia Dunkley then opened the scoring for GG as she shuffled across and scooped one to fine leg, off Ellyse Perry. RCB nearly got the first wicket in the same over as Perry induced an outside edge of Meghana but Richa Ghosh couldn’t hold on to a tough catch.
Dunkley and Meghana tried to up the ante with three fours off Schutt in the third over but the Australian pacer bounced back hard as she had Meghana caught behind.
It didn’t affect Dunkney though as she went on the counterattack to take Braboure by storm. She combined power and timing to hit a couple of fours and six off Renuka Singh and then took the attack to Preeti Bose hitting 4, 6, 4, 4, 4. She brought up her fifty off just 18 balls, the fastest of the WPL so far as GG scored 64/1 in the Powerplay.
Dunkley kept attacking as she hit a six and a four off Shreyanka Patil. The young spinner however bounced back hard off the next ball as she had Dunkley caught at long off for 65 (28).
Harleen Deol then took over the mantle and kept the scoreboard ticking with well placed boundaries. She and Asleigh Gardner added 53 off 36 balls, with the partnership dominated by Deol.
Heather Knight then broke the stand as she had Gardner stumped in the 14th over. Hemalatha then took the aggressive route straight away hitting 16 from 6 but Knight again struck again to have her caught at short third man.
Deol then brought up her fifty in style, off just 35 balls, as she pulled one wide of fine leg for a four, off Perry. She followed it up with two more and then was dropped at the deep square leg boundary. Sutherland finished the over with a six to make it a 20-run Perry over.
Gujarat Giants then pulled things back at the death as they conceded just 20 runs off the last three overs and picked up three wickets. Deol (67 off 45 balls) was cleaned up by Shreyanka Patil in the last over as GG posted 201/7.