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PIX: RCB edge past UP Warriorz in WPL thriller

Last updated on: February 24, 2024 23:34 IST

IMAGES from the WPL encounter played between Royal Challengers Bangalore and UP Warriorz on Saturday

Sobhana Asha

IMAGE: RCB’s Asha Shobana celebrates bowling Grace Harris of UP Warriorz. Photograph: BCCI

Authoritative fifties by Richa Ghosh and S Meghana were well-supported by crafty leg-spinner Asha Sobhana as Royal Challengers Bangalore celebrated their first home WPL match with a fighting two-run win over UP Warriorz in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Richa (62, 37b, 12x4) and Meghana ((53, 44b, 7x4, 1x6) pushed Royal Challengers to a par 157 for six on a slightly tacky pitch as they added 71 runs for the fourth wicket in 50 balls.

Asha Sobhana

IMAGE: RCB’s Asha Shobana celebrates the wicket of Tahlia McGrath. Photograph: BCCI

Grace Harris (38, 23b, 4x4, 2x6) and Shewta Sehrawat (31, 25b, 2x4, 1x6) milked 77 runs in 44 balls for the fourth wicket but UP could not survive a five-wicket haul by leg-spinner Asha Shobhana (5/22), ending up at 155 for seven.

The Warriorz were well on course for a win at 116 for three in the 15th over, but Shobhana's three-wicket burst in the 17th over changed the complexion of the game.

She jettisoned Harris, Sehrawat and Kiran Navgire in that over to break UP's hopes by a thin margin.

The Warriorz chase got off to a rather sedate start after losing skipper Alyssa Healy in the second over itself.

Left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux produced a ripper to get rid of Healy. The ball pitched around middle and off line, before straightening to clip the bails off past the tentative prod of the UP opener.

Vrinda Dinesh and Tahlia McGrath added 38 runs for the second wicket but they also consumed 7.4 overs for it, struggling to pull out big shots on a slow deck.

But Shobhana struck heavy blows in the 9th over, dismissing both Vrinda and McGrath.

Vrinda, who laboured to a 28-ball 18, tried to step down and hoick Shobhana but missed the ball as stumper Richa did the rest.

Shobhana ousted McGrath two balls later when the Aussie batter's attempt to slog sweep saw the ball rearranging her stumps.

Richa Ghosh

IMAGE: Richa Ghosh and Sabbhineni Meghana took their time to settle into their partnership, but once they got their eyes in, the RCB pair did not look back. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, RCB batters hobbled to a total that proved just enough on the night.

The RCB were tottering at 54 for three in 7.5 overs after being asked to bat first.


IMAGE: Sabbinenni Meghana smashed Grace Harris for three successive fours. Photograph: BCCI

Sensing the situation, Meghana and Richa took their time to settle into their partnership, but once they got their eyes in, the RCB pair did not look back.

Meghana, who was dropped on 20 and 22, made full use of those let-offs to play some stunning shots around the ground.

Her thumping loft over extra cover for a six off left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad was good enough to watch in loop.

Richa Ghosh

IMAGE: Richa Ghosh is bowled by Deepti Sharma. Photograph: BCCI

She reached her fifty in 40 balls, and Richa, who hammered pacer Saima Thakor for 16 runs in the 14th over, reached her own mark soon off 31 balls with a four off Tahlia McGrath.

The partnership was broken when Gayakwad had Meghana stumped by Alyssa Healy.

Alyyssa Healy

IMAGE: UP Warriorz’s Rajeshwari Gayakwad celebrates the wicket of Alyssa Healy. Photograph: BCCI

But before that steady stand, RCB skipper Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Devine and Ellyse Perry struggled to come to terms with the sluggishness of the track, perishing in their attempt to force the pace.

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