WPL 2024: Clinical RCB cruise to second successive win | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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WPL 2024: Clinical RCB cruise to second successive win

Feb 27, 2024 11:07 PM IST

Renuka Singh and Smriti Mandhana lead the charge as RCB beat GG with eight wickets and 45 balls to spare

Riding on a clinical all-round performance, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) registered their second successive victory in the Women's Premier League (WPL), beating a listless Gujarat Giants by eight wickets in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Royal Challengers Bangalore's batter Smriti Mandhana plays a shot during the Women's Premier League (WPL) match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Giants, at M Chinnaswamy Stadium(PTI)
Royal Challengers Bangalore's batter Smriti Mandhana plays a shot during the Women's Premier League (WPL) match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Giants, at M Chinnaswamy Stadium(PTI)

Skipper Smriti Mandhana smoked six boundaries in her first 11 balls to set the early pace. A delightful strokemaker on the off-side, Mandhana regularly peppered the area between mid-off and backward point, and when the opportunity presented, comfortably rocked back to punish anything marginally short.

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Having restricted GG to 107/7, RCB batters came out with a clear intent to wrap up the chase early and get their net run rate up. Mandhana peeled off three boundaries in the first over itself and even though RCB lost Sophie Devine in the third over, Mandhana and Sabbhineni Meghana kept the scoreboard ticking.

By the end of the third over, RCB were already 32/0. By contrast, GG, in their six-over powerplay, had managed only 29/1. Mandhana fell to Tanuja Kanwar in the ninth over for a 27-ball 43, but with just 35 runs to get, Meghana took over.

Fresh from her 53 against UP Warriorz last week, Meghana launched a six and a four off Kanwar in the 11th over to bring RCB within touching distance. The formalities were completed in the 13th over when Ellyse Perry pulled Sneh Rana to the fine leg fence in the 13th over to consign GG to their second successive loss.

Earlier, RCB's decision to win the toss and bowl was vindicated by some tight bowling as well as a shocking lack of intent from GG batters. Skipper Beth Mooney rejigged the batting order but only three batters reached double figures and only four could score at a rate of run-a-ball or more.

GG's innings gasped for momentum for its entirety, giving ample opportunity to Mandhana to try seven bowlers. Renuka Singh began the slide in the third over, moving the ball in the air and off the pitch.

Singh bowled Mooney in her second over with the one that seamed into the southpaw and soon had Phoebe Litchfield stumped. GG's No. 3,4, and 5 managed a total of 21 runs, and their returns from the middle overs (overs 6-16) were 44/5. Only 25 runs came in the last four overs as GG found the slow left-arm spin of Sophie Molineux too tough to handle. The Aussie picked up three wickets as GG folded for an under-par score.

The result means RCB are on top of the points table, leading Mumbai Indians — also with two wins — on NRR.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Shalini Gupta is a member of the Chandigarh sports team and has been a sports journalist for 10 years. She mainly writes on cricket.

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