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Rediff.com  » Cricket » WPL 2023: Devine confident of RCB's turnaround

WPL 2023: Devine confident of RCB's turnaround

Source: PTI
March 09, 2023 11:12 IST
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IMAGE: Despite starting the inaugural WPL season with three straight losses, Sophie Devine remained confident of RCB’s turnaround. Photograph: BCCI

Notwithstanding their third loss on the trot, Royal Challengers Bangalore and New Zealand batter Sophie Devine is confident that her side will be able to effect a turnaround in the Women's Premier League.

RCB lost to Gujarat Giants on Wednesday night.

Chasing what Devine called an 'at par' score of 202 to win, Royal Challengers Bangalore finished at 180/6 despite a fighting knock from the right-handed Devine, who played a largely sole hand in their chase while the other batters could not make a strong dent.

RCB were guilty of facing far too many dot balls during their chase, including the fact that they did not hit a single six until the 14th over, something that was hugely responsible for their defeat in a high-scoring contest.

 

"Obviously not, because we did not win,' Devine told the media when asked if her side missed a trick by not clearing the boundary ropes enough.

"I think to pinpoint (a reason for loss) is pretty tough, to nail it down to one thing but I think probably our dot balls (were too many). And it is going to happen sometimes, you have to give the credit to the bowlers who bowled some great deliveries today.

"But still we have shown how can you get those dot balls to be even those singles. In games like this you get back and look at every single ball you think could I have got a run there or could we have pushed for two.

"It is really disappointing but I think we have shown real improvement from game to game," she added.

The 33-year-old New Zealand better said RCB were completely aware of the fact that a high score of 190-200 is at par score at the Brabourne Stadium here, where short boundaries, flat pitches and quick outfield have resulted in the team leaking a total in excess of 200 for second time out of three matches that they have played so far.

"From playing the last three matches here we know that 190-200 is a par-score and that is what we spoke about as a group.

"I thought we did really well with the ball in the powerplay but we probably let them have too many runs in the middle overs and then we did some great work at the back end. Unfortunately, it was all a little bit too much," she said.

"I thought our batting innings really ebbed and flowed. There were times when we thought we were in control and ahead of the run rate and there was the time when there were too many dot balls.

"When you are chasing 210-11 or whatever target (202) was, dot balls are usually crucial.

"Look, (it was) great spirit and great fightback from the girls. We certainly are improving every game which is a real positive and I know that the first win is just around the corner," Devine added.

IMAGE: Sophia Dunkley bagged the player-of-the-match award in Gujarat Giants’ first WPL win. Photograph: BCCI

Devine said she hoped to see more runs from her opening partnership with RCB captain Smriti Mandhana as the pair have been able to provide with strong starts in all three matches so far in the WPL.

She said, “I would certainly like us to go a little bit deeper and score a few more runs. The great thing about these sort of competition is that you get to bat with world-class players and Smriti is really outstanding.

"She (targets) different areas obviously because she is a left-handed, it makes a big difference, and it is really a good combination at the top of the order.

"I know she wants to score more runs, I want to score more runs, and hopefully we keep bouncing off each other and a really big partnership is just around the corner."

England batter Sophia Dunkley, who provided Gujarat giants with a blistering start with a 28-ball 65 said the pitch was conducive for batting.

"I really enjoyed it. I wanted to get out there and be really positive, get off to a good start and get some momentum after a tough couple of games (for the team)," said Dunkley.

"The ground is very high scoring and it is very hard to defend when someone is in. It was all about trying to not let them free their arms because Sophie Devine is a very powerful hitter and so is Heather Knight.

"They have got a really good team and they are always in the game. I thought our bowlers did well, Ashleigh Gardner was outstanding in the middle with three wickets," Dunkley added.

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