WPL Match 13, Royal Challengers Bangalore vs UP Warriorz


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Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have finally opened their account in the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2023. The Smriti Manadhana-led side registered their first win in the league defeating UP Warriorz by five wickets at the Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai on March 15. 

Mandhana won the toss and invited UP Warriorz to bat first. RCB opener Sophie Devine produced a clinical bowling effort as UP Warriorz were bowled out for 135 in 19.3 overs. She removed both UP Warriorz openers Devika Vaidya and Alyssa Healy. RCB’s Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry dismissed Grace Harris, Deepti Sharma, and Shweta Sehrawat to claim a three-for, while Shobhana Asha picked two wickets. Harris (46 off 32) who returned to the squad after one game, was the top-scorer for the Alyssa Healy-led side.

In the chase, RCB did not got off with a good start as opener Mandhana was out for a duck while Devine departed after scoring 14 runs off 6. RCB were in deep trouble ie n thfirst 10 overs, having lost four wickets. However, Kanika Ahuja played a crucial 46-run knock off 30 balls while Richa Ghosh chipped in with an unbeaten 31 off 32 balls and guided RCB to their first win.

Kanika Ahuja’s stunning knocks help RCB win

Kanika Ahuja came in and took the control of the innings when RCB were reduced to 60 /4 in nine overs. She got the support from Richa Gosh and scored a scintillating knock of 46 off 30. She hit one maximum and eight boundaries as RCB chased the target with 12 balls to spare. She was adjudged as the Player of the Match her match-winning performance.

Deepti Sharma’s all-round show

After posting a below par score of 135, UP Warriorz bowled brilliantly from the beginning. Deepti Sharma gave her side an advantage, dismissing RCB skipper Mandhana for duck. She then remnoved Heather Knight for 24 runs. Deepti gave away only 26 runs in the four overs, while with the bat, she scored 22 off 19, including four boundaries.

Losing captain Alyssa Healy:

“We weren’t up to standard tonight and the total was under par, not good enough. The wicket was holding a bit, it was like wet clay and we got ahead of ourselves, losing three wickets in the powerplay is not great. It was spin to win, the ball was gripping and we needed wickets, we thought it would be spinners to get us those wickets. (On RCB getting their first win) Full credit to them, they are a good side and things haven’t gone their way. They turned up tonight after losing five games and were the better team.”

Winning captain Smriti Mandhana:

“Yeah, it was tense. We lost a couple of wickets in the 7th over, it was a bit nervous. But the way Kanika and Richa played was brilliant. Kanika in particular, really proud of her. Really excited to see her bat, the approach she has. She is a 360 degree player, who isn’t the most common in Indian cricket. Really impressed with her and the belief she has. Even when we have not been in great positions, the crowd keep chanting for us. Really happy for this loyal support base, not a lot of teams will have supporters turn up in such high numbers after losing five games.”

Player of the Match Kanika Ahuja:

“I wanted to win one game for RCB. One dream accomplished today. Since childhood, I’ve been a big hitter, I always play this way. The cricket journey was a bit tough because there aren’t the best academies in Pathiala, but now things are getting better. I have played in such situations while playing for Punjab, I like playing under pressure. The team is very happy now because we have got our first win, long may it continue.”

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