Lady Luck hasn’t smiled much on Gujarat Giants.
In its first match, it lost its captain and best batter Beth Mooney to injury. In the second, after coming so close to a win, it lost to a stunning onslaught at the death by UP Warriorz’s Grace Harris.
On a warm Wednesday night at the Brabourne Stadium, Giants, riding on sparkling 60s from Sophia Dunkley and Harleen Deol, finally tasted victory in the Women’s Premier League. Chasing 202, RCB could only manage 190 for six.
The 11-run defeat meant that the star-studded RCB is the only team in the competition without a win even after three games.
Though captain Smriti Mandhana and Sophie Devine gave yet another promising start to RCB — they put on 54 in 5.1 overs — the innings didn’t get the acceleration it required. The first six of the innings came only after 14 overs.
That came from the blade off Devine, who made 66 off 45 balls (8x4, 2x6). After Smriti fell once more to the off-spin of Ashleigh Gardner, the New Zealander added 43 for the second wicket with Ellyse Perry (32, 25b, 5x4).
Gardner then yorked the dangerous Richa Ghosh off the first ball after the strategic time-out. It was going to be an uphill task from then on, notwithstanding a brave attempt from Heather Knight (30 not out, 11b, 5x4, 1x6).
Earlier, what Dunkley (65, 28b, 11x4, 3x6) started was finished off by Harleen Deol (67, 45b, 9x4, 1x6). Dunkley indicated that she was a woman in a hurry as she scooped the third ball she faced — from Perry — to fine-leg for a boundary.
She went on to hit the bowlers all around the park, displaying nimble footwork and superb timing. Her fifty came off just 18 balls — the fastest in the league so far.
Then Harleen put her wrists to work, stitching together useful stands and powering Giants to what proved a winning total.
Thursday’s match: Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians, 7.30 p.m.