Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra): After bowlers ran riot, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batters held their nerves as Kanika Ahuja’s blistering innings of 46 runs helped RCB defeat UP Warriorz (UPW) by 5 wickets in their Women’s Premier League (WPL) match here at DY Patil Sports Academy on Wednesday.
Royal Challengers Bangalore registered their first points of the tournament with a five-wicket win over UP Warriorz. RCB got their first win of the WPL and moved to No. 4 on the points table. Ahuja played a knock of 46 while Richa Ghosh scored an unbeaten crucial 31 guiding her team home. For UPW, Deepti Sharma bagged two while Sophie Ecclestone and Devika Vaidya scalped one wicket respectively.
Chasing a small target of 136, Royal Challengers Bangalore got off to a fine start as Sophie Devine slammed two boundaries and one six in Grace Harris’ over, however, her stint was cut short after she handed an easy catch to Tahlia McGrath at deep mid-wicket.
Star all-rounder Deepti Sharma provided her team with a big wicket of Smriti Mandhana. RCB captain returned to the pavilion on a duck.
Heather Knight then came out to bat and joined hands with Ellyse Perry in gathering singles to remove some pressure off their shoulders. Devika Vaidya then joined the wicket-taking party as she removed Perry for 10 runs.
Deepti bagged her second wicket of the match as she dismissed Knight for 24. Kanika Ahuja then tried to ease some pressure as she slammed Harris for 9 and Rajeshwari Gayakwad for 13 runs with the help of three boundaries.
The duo of Richa Ghosh and Ahuja kept piling runs as they slammed UPW bowlers all around the ground at regular intervals.
In the 16th over of the game, Sophie Ecclestone provided her team with a big wicket of Ahuja for 46 runs. Ghosh then continued her red-hot form and slammed an outstanding six and a boundary guiding her team to a 5-wicket victory over UPW.
Earlier, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bowlers kept up the pressure on UP Warriorz (UPW) as they bowled them for 135 in 19.3 overs.
For UPW Grace Harris scored the highest with 46 off 32 while Kiran Navgire and Deepti Sharma played crucial knocks. For RCB, Ellyse Perry begged three while Sophie Devine and Asha Shobana had two wickets respectively.
Opting to field first, Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers built pressure as Sophie Devine gave a double blow to UP Warriorz. Devine first removed Devika Vaidya for a duck and Alyssa Healy for one run in the first over of the game.
In the second over of the innings, Megan Schutt joined the wicket-taking party as she cleared Tahlia McGrath on her score of two runs. Kiran Navgire then opened her hands and slammed boundaries at regular intervals. However, Navgire’s short stint at the crease came to an end as she was dismissed by Asha Shobana after scoring 22 of 26.
Simran Shaikh then came out to bat. Shobana stuck again providing her team with another wicket as she dismissed Shaikh for 2.
With five wickets down, Deepti Sharma and Grace Harris held the fort and piled up runs while taking singles. Deepti and Harris brought up their 50-run partnership stand and this included an over by Shobana that cost 16 runs as the batters scored two fours and one six.
The crucial partnership of 69 runs of 41 balls was broken as Deepti handed her wicket vital wicket to Ellyse Perry after scoring 22 runs. Perry then in the same over gave UP another blow as she dismissed Harris for 46 runs.
UP kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Shreyanka Patil then dismissed Anjali Sarvani for nine runs in the last over to help RCB bundle out UP for 135.
Brief score: UP Warriorz 135 (Grace Harris 46, Deepti Sharma 22; Ellyse Perry 3-16) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 136/5 (Kanika Ahuja 46, Richa Ghosh 31*; Deepti Sharma 2-26).