Gujarat Giants secure season's first win in WPL 2024 | Crickit

Openers Beth Mooney and Laura Wolvaardt smash half-centuries as Gujarat Giants secure season's first win in WPL 2024

Mar 07, 2024 06:21 AM IST

Openers Mooney and Wolvaardt put together a stand of 140 runs to beat RCB out of the game.

Having lost all four matches of the 2024 Women’s Premier League yet, skipper Beth Mooney decided to take matters into her own gloves. Together with Laura Wolvaardt, the opening pair took the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers to the cleaners to finally hand Gujarat Giants their first win of the five-team event at the Ferozeshah Kotla here.

Beth Mooney during the Women's Premier League (WPL) 2024 cricket match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Giants(PTI)
Beth Mooney during the Women's Premier League (WPL) 2024 cricket match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Giants(PTI)

And in some style. Openers Mooney and Wolvaardt not just put together the highest partnership (140 runs) but also helped Giants, who ended fifth and last in WPL 2023, reach 199/5 -- the highest total of WPL 2024. It was more than enough as Royal Challengers Bangalore could only manage 180/8 to go down by 19 runs, their third loss in six games.

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Going by the current trend – last three matches were won by teams batting first – Mooney too opted to bat on winning the toss with Wolvaardt providing the Giants a flying start. The South African-Australian opening combination sent the ball to every part of the park.

While Wolvaardt played the role of the aggressor, she was given solid support by Mooney from the other end that guided Giants to reach the 100-run mark in the 10th over. Wolvaardt (76, 45b 13x4) was looking good for a century before a mix-up resulted in her run out on the final delivery of the 13th over.

Mooney became the aggressor following Wolvaardt’s dismissal as she accelerated with 12 boundaries and one six. But RCB were able to rein in the Giants, who looked good for 220 or more, as they picked four wickets on the last 10 deliveries of the innings. Constant wicket losses also stopped Mooney (85 not out off 51) from reaching her century but not before the southpaw reached the highest total of WPL 2024.

It was an ordinary bowling display from RCB, who tried seven bowlers, with 14 wides not helping their cause either. In addition, Simran Bahadur also dropped Mooney when she was on 76.

With a target of 200 runs, skipper Smriti Mandhana (24 off 16) had to come out firing and she did exactly that, hammering two sixes and two fours. But the southpaw perished in the fifth over. Ellyse Perry (24), Sophie Devine (23) and Richa Ghosh (30) got starts but nobody could neither accelerate nor score a big one as the required rate kept spiking.

Georgia Wareham (48 off 22) tried scoring quickly by then it was too late as Giants bowlers were easily able to curtail RCB batters. Offie Ashleigh Gardner (2/23) and medium pacer Kathryn Bryce (1/26) were the pick of the Giants bowlers.

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