Gujarat Giants Beat Royal Challengers Bangalore For First Win of Season

Harleen Deol, Sophia Dunkley and Ashleigh Gardner starred for Gujarat Giants who defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 11 runs to end their winless start to the inaugural season of Women’s Premier League on Wednesday night. GGT successfully defended a mammoth total of 202 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai which condemned RCB to their third straight loss and they now remain the only team to have not won a single game in the five-team competition.

RCB started their chase on a solid note with the opening pair of Smriti Mandhana and Sophie Devine adding 54 runs before being separated. Mandhana made 18 off 14 while Devine fell late in the chase after a superb 45-ball 66, an innings that featured eight fours and two sixes.

Match Highlights: GT vs RCB, WPL 2023

With the asking rate climbing up, GT continued to land telling blows with Gardner accounting for Mandhana, Richa Ghosh and Kanika Ahuja.

However, during the partnership between Devine and Elly Perry (32), RCB looked in control of the chase but the latter’s dismissal in the 12th over allowed GT to edge ahead. Heather Knight kept RCB’s hopes alive with an unbeaten 30 off 11 but they came so close only to finish at 190/6 in 20 overs.

Earlier, Fantastic fifties from Harleen Deol and Sophia Dunkley propelled GGT to a commanding 201/7. Sophia set the tone for Gujarat’s big total through a breath-taking 65 off 28 balls, including slamming fastest fifty of the tournament in 18 balls. In her blazing knock, she slammed 11 fours and three sixes at a strike rate of 232.14.

Also Read: Sophia Dunkley Hits Fastest Half-century of WPL 2023

Once she fell, Harleen shined to ensure Gujarat didn’t lose momentum. From being 18 off 17 at one point, she impressed everyone with her timing and placement to score 67 off 45 balls, hitting nine fours and a six at a strike-rate of 148.89.

For the third consecutive time in the competition, Bangalore’s bowling was taken apart, barring Shreyanka Patil and Heather Knight taking four wickets while conceding 49 runs off six overs between them. Their fielding and catching wasn’t up to the mark too.

After playing eight consecutive dot balls, including a maiden in the opening over, Sophia got Gujarat off the mark with nice scoop over fine leg off Ellyse Perry. She then went after Megan Schutt in the next over, hitting two boundaries over point and backward point.

Despite Megan taking out Sabbhineni Meghana in the third over, there was no stopping Sophia. She chipped and clipped off Renuka Singh Thakur for two boundaries, but the pick of the shots was a well-timed inside-out lofted six over extra cover.

Sophia went on to make full use of anything coming in the slot from Preeti Bose, smashing three fours and six, to reach her fifty in 18 balls and take 23 runs off the fifth over. The carnage continued as Sophia pulled off Ellyse for four, before slog-sweeping and whipping off Shreyanka Patil for six and four respectively.

Her knock came to an end when Shreyanka, coming from over the wicket, got the right-handed batter to mistime a loft to long-off. Harleen took over by getting some exquisite timing on her punch, sweep, pull and pick-up shots.

Bangalore continued to take wickets as Knight foxed Gardner with a straighter delivery and was stumped easily from behind by Richa Ghosh. Dayalan Hemalatha timed her two fours and six very well, before slicing to short third man to become Heather’s second scalp of the match.

But there was no stopping for Harleen as she brought up her fifty in 35 balls with a pull over short fine leg off Ellyse. She feasted on short balls from Ellyse, pulling and slapping well to collect back-to-back boundaries.

She even got a life when Preeti Bose dropped her catch in the 17th over. But ran out of support from the other end as Annabel Sutherland holed out to long-off while Sneh Rana was run-out in the 19th over.

Harleen was finally out in the final over when a full and fast ball from Shreyanka crashed into the stumps. A boundary down the ground from Sushma Verma on her first ball took Gujarat over 200.

With IANS Inputs

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