Sophie Devine
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Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat Gujarat Giants (GG) by eight wickets in yesterday (March 18)’s Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2023 game at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. With their second win in as many games, RCB kept their slender hopes of qualifying for the playoffs alive. Both Bangalore and Gujarat are now on four points apiece after seven games.

Gujarat Giants put up an impressive total of 188-4 as Laura Wolvaardt top-scored with 68 off 42, while Ashleigh Gardner contributed 41 off 26. However, Sophie Devine clobbered 99 off 36 in the chase to make the result a mere formality. Owing to Devine’s brutal assault on Gujarat’s bowlers, Bangalore raced past the finish line in 15.3 overs.

Batting first, GG lost Sophia Dunkley for 16, as she was bowled by Devine. However, Wolvaardt and Sabbhineni Meghana (31 off 32) added 63 for the second wicket before the latter was stumped off Preeti Bose. Wolvaardt brought up a 35-ball half-century with a six off Ellyse Perry.

The Gujarat opener’s innings ended when she smacked a full-toss from Shreyanka Patil to short midwicket. Gardner hit a flurry of boundaries before being trapped leg before by Shreyanka. Dayalan Hemalatha (16* off 6) and Harleen Deol (12* off 5) clubbed Megan Schutt for a four and a six apiece as 22 runs came off the last over.

Devine stuns Gujarat with blistering knock

Defending 188, GG’s bowlers would have been confident of putting up a good show. However, Devine was in incredible hitting form and did not allow Gujarat to stay in the contest. She clobbered nine fours and eight sixes, adding 125 for the opening wicket with captain Smriti Mandhana (37 off 31) in 9.2 overs.

Devine got into big-hitting mode in the second over, slamming Gardner for two sixes and three fours. Mandhana joined in, hitting Tanuja Kanwar for a six and two fours off consecutive deliveries. Devine raced to fifty off 20 balls, launching Deol for a maximum over long-on.

More ‘Devine’ intervention followed, as 25 runs were came off Kanwar. After nine overs, RCB had progressed to 125. The excellent opening stand ended when Mandhana chipped a return catch to Sneh Rana.

Devine, though, carried on and looked set to reach three figures. However, on 99, she miscued Kim Garth to mid-off, missing out on a well-deserved hundred. Perry (19*) and Heather Knight (22*), though, completed the formalities as Bangalore got home with 27 deliveries to spare.

RCB vs GG: Who Won Player of the Match in yesterday’s WPL 2023 Match?

Wolvaardt scored an impressive half-century for Gujarat, while Gardner contributed a swift 41. For RCB, Shreyanka impressed with 2-17 in a high-scoring game. Devine, though, was absolutely unstoppable in the chase, ending her fabulous innings with a strike rate of 275.

Devine was the easy choice for Player of the Match for her spectacular knock.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert
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