RCB get first win of season, beat UP Warriorz to stay alive | Crickit
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RCB get first win of season, beat UP Warriorz to stay alive

By, Navi Mumbai
Mar 16, 2023 12:47 AM IST

Smriti Mandhana's team is finally off the blocks thanks to solid performances by Ellyse Perry and Kanika Ahuja

Star all-rounder Ellyse Perry and young left-hander Kanika Ahuja made key contributions as Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated UP Warriorz by five wickets to end their five-match losing streak and remain alive in the Women’s Premier League (WPL).

Royal Challengers Bangalore players celebrate their victory against UP Warriorz(PTI)
Royal Challengers Bangalore players celebrate their victory against UP Warriorz(PTI)

Opting to bowl first at the DY Patil Stadium, RCB bowled out UPW for 135 before chasing down the total in 18 overs. Sophie Devine came out all guns blazing in the chase and quickly hit two fours and a six. But the right-hander attempted one shot too many and was dismissed by Harris in the first over itself.

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Smriti Mandhana, who has had a difficult time this season both with the bat and as captain, was cleaned up by Deepti for a three-ball duck. The left-hander attempted a big sweep but was beaten all ends up. The most expensive player at the WPL auction now has a total of 88 runs to her name after six games this season.

Bangalore then lost the wickets of Perry and Heather Knight and were in a serious spot of bother at 60/4 after nine overs. With 76 runs to get off 66 deliveries, Ahuja got together with Richa Ghosh at the crease and put on a wonderfully-paced stand of 60 runs.

Ahuja was brave throughout her knock and put UPW on the back foot with some innovative strokeplay. The left-hander was dismissed for a 30-ball 46 by Sophie Ecclestone in the 17th over, but Ghosh and Shreyanka Patil didn’t panic and closed out the chase.

Earlier, Devine gave RCB a dream start to the match. The New Zealand all-rounder was handed the new ball and took two wickets in the first over. Devika Vaidya was first trapped in front and then came the big wicket of Alyssa Healy as the UPW captain flicked one to mid-wicket.

It went from bad to worse for the Warriorz as the dangerous Tahlia McGrath perished in the second over. By the time 8.1 overs were bowled, UPW had lost half their side with Kiran Navgire and Simran Shaikh also back in the hut. They only had 31 runs on the board at that time and it seemed RCB would run away with the contest.

But then came two costly errors in the field that allowed UPW to stage a comeback. First, Deepti Sharma was dropped in the slips by Heather Knight and then Grace Harris was given a reprieve as Richa Ghosh missed a stumping.

Both were straightforward chances that should have been taken, and it was Asha Shobana who was the unlucky bowler on each occasion. The leg-spinner eventually returned with 2/27 but her figures should have looked a lot better.

Deepti and Harris went on to add a 69-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Harris scored just 10 runs off the first 17 balls she faced but smacked 36 off the next 14.

However, the match turned in RCB’s favour again as Perry returned to the attack in the 16th over. The star all-rounder removed both set batters-Deepti and Harris in three balls to help her team secure a moderate target eventually.

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