WPL 2024 | Renuka, Molineux and Smriti shine as RCB cuts Giants to size

The pacer, along with Devine and Shreyanka, choke Mooney’s side in the PowerPlay; the left-arm spinner joins the party to scalp three and apply the skids; the Bangalore skipper masterminds the chase with a 27-ball 43 as the team wins at a canter

February 27, 2024 09:58 pm | Updated March 01, 2024 07:35 am IST - Bengaluru

Royal Challengers Bangalore player Sophie Molineux bowls a delivery during the Women’s Premier League (WPL) match against Gujarat Giants, ain Bengaluru on February 27, 2024.

Royal Challengers Bangalore player Sophie Molineux bowls a delivery during the Women’s Premier League (WPL) match against Gujarat Giants, ain Bengaluru on February 27, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

The adage ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’ fits Gujarat Giants. The side slumped to its second consecutive loss despite bringing in 10 fresh faces for Season 2 of the Women’s Premier League.

Smriti Mandhana’s stroke-filled 43 (27b, 8x4, 1x6), after incisive bowling spells from Renuka Thakur (4-0-14-2) and Sophie Molineux (4-0-25-3), propelled Royal Challengers Bangalore to an eight-wicket win over Giants at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Tuesday. Beth Mooney’s side was restricted to 107 for seven.

Blazing start

Smriti smashed Lea Tahuhu for three fours in the first over, getting RCB off to a flier. The India opener then pierced the in-field regularly as RCB scored 32 in the first three overs. Sophie Devine, the other opener, fell cheaply.

Smriti’s stay ended when she was caught and bowled by Tanuja Kanwer before S. Meghana and Ellyse Perry took RCB past the finish line in 12.3 overs.

Earlier in the evening, a combined bowling effort helped RCB keep the Giants on a leash.

Renuka provided RCB the breakthrough, cleaning up skipper Beth Mooney with an inswinger in the third over.

The India seamer, who was accurate and economical in her four-over spell, along with Devine and Shreyanka Patil accounted for 27 dots in the first six overs, restricting Giants to 29 in the PowerPlay.

In the seventh over, Phoebe Litchfield was stumped off Renuka, thanks to the lightning glovework by Richa Ghosh.

Double blow

Molineux sent back Veda Krishnamurthy who holed out to Georgia Wareham in the deep before Harleen Deol was left stranded after a mix-up with Ashleigh Gardner in the same over.

Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals before D. Hemalatha’s cameo (31, 25b, 2x4, 1x6) and her 25-run stand with Sneh Rana took Giants close to the 100-mark.

Though Hemalatha ensured that Giants finished with 107, it turned out to be insufficient once Smriti took guard.


GUJARAT GIANTS: Harleen Deol run out 22 (31b, 3x4), Beth Mooney b Renuka 8 (7b, 2x4), Phoebe Litchfield st. Richa b Renuka 5 (12b, 1x4), Veda Krishnamurthy c Wareham b Molineux 9 (15b, 1x6), Ashleigh Gardner c Smriti b Wareham 7 (12b), D. Hemalatha (not out) 31 (25b, 2x4, 1x6), Kathryn Bryce b Molineux 3 (6b), Sneh Rana st. Richa b Molineux 12 (10b, 2x4), Tanuja Kanwar (not out) 4 (2b); Extras (b-1, lb-1, w-4): 6; Total (for seven wkts. in 20 overs): 107.

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-11 (Mooney, 2.3 overs), 2-30 (Litchfield, 6.2), 3-45 (Veda, 10.2), 4-50 (Harleen, 10.6), 5-70 (Gardner, 15.1), 6-73 (Bryce, 16.1), 7-98 (Sneh, 18.6)

RCB BOWLING: Renuka 4-0-14-2, Devine 4-0-12-0, Shreyanka 1-0-13-0, Perry 1-0-8-0, Molineux 4-0-25-3, Asha 3-0-13-0, Wareham 3-0-20-1.

Toss: Royal Challengers.

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