WPL 2023: RCB remain winless as DC clinch thriller | Crickit

WPL 2023: RCB remain winless as DC clinch thriller

By, Navi Mumbai
Mar 13, 2023 11:16 PM IST

The Mandhana-led team have lost all five of their matches so far

Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Smriti Mandhana was hopeful at the toss on Monday. Her team hadn’t won a single game in the first half of the league stage of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), but each of those four defeats had come at the Brabourne Stadium. This time they were up against Delhi Capitals at the DY Patil Stadium, and Mandhana hoped the change of venue would alter their fortune too.

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Smriti Mandhana (AFP)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Smriti Mandhana (AFP)

Unfortunately for RCB, they went on to suffer their fifth straight defeat in what was a last-over thriller. Mandhana and Co finished with 150/4 after being asked to bat first, with DC posting 154/4 in 19.4 overs to keep pace with Mumbai Indians at the top of the table.

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RCB were off to a dream start with the ball as Megan Schutt rattled Shafali Verma’s stumps with the second delivery of the innings. Shafali, who had scored a breathtaking 76* off 28 in the last game against Gujarat Giants, missed the big in-swinger from Schutt and was sent packing for a first-ball duck.

Alice Capsey then counterattacked with a 24-ball 38 but fell to left-arm spinner Preeti Bose. Delhi skipper and Orange Cap holder Meg Lanning wasn’t at her best and perished for 15 off 18.

Jemimah Rodrigues, in at No 4, played a crucial knock for DC with 32 off 28. The right-hander added a 25-run partnership for the third wicket with Lanning and 39 runs for the fourth with Kapp.

Rodrigues was dismissed in the 15th over and both teams were in it at that point as DC needed 42 to win off 33 balls. Jess Jonassen joined Kapp at the crease and the match kept getting tighter and tighter. First 24 were needed off 18, then 16 off 12, and finally nine off the last six.

Renuka Singh Thakur was tasked with bowling the final over and she started well, but Jonassen showed great skill and composure to crack a six and a four to seal the deal and break RCB hearts.

Earlier, Bangalore’s batting innings was a story of two halves – they scored 50 runs in the first 10 overs and 100 in the next 10.

Mandhana, who had scores of 35, 23, 18 and 4 in the first four games, had another forgettable outing with the bat. She faced a maiden over by Marizanne Kapp first up before being dismissed for 8 off 15. The left-hander had said earlier that she needs to be taking more responsibility at the top of the order, and the latest low score wouldn’t have done her confidence any good.

Ellyse Perry and Richa Ghosh, in contrasting fashion, were the ones who guided RCB to a respectable total. Perry, who hit a half-century against UP Warriorz in the previous game, faced 14 dots in her first 19 deliveries. The star Australian all-rounder was far from fluent but hung in there to hold the RCB innings together. She was on 37 off 41 at one stage but scored 30 runs off the last 11 balls she faced to remain unbeaten on 67 off 52.

Ghosh, meanwhile, was on the money from the get-go. She had scored a total of just 41 runs across the four previous games but struck form this time around with a 16-ball 37. The keeper-batter hit three fours and as many sixes in her knock and provided RCB the push they desperately needed.

For DC, Shikha Pandey was the standout performer with the ball. The right-arm pacer got the key wickets of Mandhana, Sophie Devine and Ghosh to return with figures of 3/23. In addition, the 33-year-old even took a blinder at short-fine to dismiss Heather Knight.

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