7:15 pm: That’s it from the match. Two dominant performances in the first two games. Will the third match between UP Warriorz and Gujarat Giants be a close one?

Head over to our live blog: WPL 2023, UP Warriorz vs Gujarat Giants live: Sneh Rana to lead GG, opts to bat first

Tara Norris | Player of the Match: Delighted. I think Meg and Shafali started fantastically with the bat to take a bit of the pressure off the bowlers. But yeah, really happy. I never thought I’d have an opportunity like this in my career so just to be here has been absolutely amazing. So I’m absolutely delighted. The first (wicket) was pretty special. Like I said, just to be here has been amazing. So the fact that I got a chance to play and have a bowl has been awesome.”

Points table after RCB vs DC | Courtesy: WPLT20 website

As we wait for the post-match formalities for this match, also tune in to our live coverage of the UP Warriorz vs Gujarat Giants game.

RCB innings summary: RCB approached the chase positively, with Smriti Mandhana and Sophie Devine having the right intent. But it needed more especially the pressure of the massive target was always going to be big. RCB saw themselves succumb to that pressure and then, Tara Norris just cleaned the middle-order beautifully.

RCB 163/8 (20 overs): DC win by 60 runs! Back-to-back boundaries against Shikha by Schutt to end the innings and that is all well for the NRR but that’s a mighty win for DC.

RCB 153/8 (19 overs): Just three runs off the penultimate over from Jonassen.

RCB 150/8 (18 overs): Heather Knight had taken Norris for a four and then a stunning inside-out six over extra cover but eventually, it’s the bowler who has the last laugh with a historic 5/29. Well bowled, Tara Norris.

RCB 150/8 (17.5 overs): WICKET! Stop the press, the first five-for of the WPL has been taken. Who else today but Tara Norris!? A slower delivery to tempt Knight and it’s caught by Lanning at extra cover.

RCB 138/7 (17 overs): Heather Knight with a lofted six over the bowler’s head. Smart batting. The pitch is still good, the outfield even better.... if only the RCB batters put up a stronger front, it would have been the contest we were hoping for. Knight just reminding them about that. Fourteen runs off the Kapp over.

RCB 124/7 (16 overs): Schutt sweeps one past short fine leg but Jonassen manages to concede just eight off the over.

RCB 116/7 (15 overs): Keeping the IPL jokes to myself but RCB working on quantum of defeat. Important for the NRR, if it comes to that. A couple of boundaries by Knight and Schutt off Norris, who concedes 11 this over.

RCB 105/7 (14 overs): Shikha Pandey picks up one wicket and concedes nine runs in the over. DC need just three wickets to win.

RCB 96/7 (13.1 overs): WICKET! Nine-pins and all that, RCB. Asha Sobhana also crumbles, like the rest of the line-up - from 89/2 to 96/7. This time to Shikha Pandey.

RCB 93/6 (12.3 overs): WICKET! Kanika Ahuja, her next victim. Tara almost sending out the message that franchises could indeed bank upon more cricketers from Associate nations.

RCB 93/5 (12.2 overs): WICKET! Yeah, she’s a star. Tara means star in Hindi. Living up to that interpretation. Richa Ghosh departs. RCB just slip. It’s also the scoreboard pressure but credit to the bowler for running through the middle order.

RCB 91/4 (11 overs): A moment for Norris who has picked up two in just her first over. Representing several Associate cricketers who couldn’t make the cut due to squad limitations and auction dynamics, she has grabbed the opportunity and how. The WPL was meant to be a solid platform for the Indian domestic cricketers but it can also be life-changing for the lesser known and lesser-seen players from Associate nations.

RCB 90/4 (10.5 overs): WICKET! Tara Norris again. Two in two. RCB still have a few batters to look to but she has effectively dented the big chase needed here. Kasat also departs. RCB in great trouble.

RCB 89/3 (10.3 overs): WICKET! It’s the USA bowler Tara Norris who provides the breakthrough. Big moment for her as she gets one of the most well-known names in cricket. Perry departs for 31.

RCB 88/2 (10 overs): Sixteen off the over as Perry scores a hat-trick of boundaries against Radha. Just what RCB needed.

RCB 72/2 (9 overs): A boundary by Vidarbha skipper Disha Kasat with a pull over backward square leg but yeah, the run-rate has been affected. Kapp concedes just six runs off the over.

RCB 66/2 (8 overs): Radha Yadav is brought on to bowl and although Perry manages to pierce the gap between cover and cover point for four, just eight runs conceded in the over.

RCB 58/2 (7 overs): Not only has she taken the big wicket but really restricted the run-flow now. Just four runs conceded on a pitch like this? Brilliant from Capsey. And brilliant captaincy from Lanning, as usual.

RCB 57/2 (6.3 overs): WICKET! Smriti Mandhana has to depart. A rather loose short and came a little too early in the innings, perhaps. And Capsey yet again with the wicket. Pressure on RCB.

RCB 54/1 (6 overs): Some pressure after the lost wicket and just seven runs off the Jess Jonassen over.

RCB 41/1 (4.1 overs) WICKET! Shafali’s hitting like THAT. Shafali’s running like THAT. Shafali’s fielding like THAT. She pulls off a stunner at mid-off to dismiss Devine for 14. Alice Capsey, the bowler is elated.

RCB 31/0 (3 overs): Devine joins in to attack the full toss in the first delivery with a drive off the covers. Another boundary through the square cut at point, followed by a another at cover point. 14 runs off the over. Positive start.

RCB 17/0 (2 overs): Smriti Mandhana time! She’s looking at the chase, straight up. No, literally. A s four over the bowler’s head to start Kapp’s over. A six over long-off. And then, a four over mid-on for a four. Fourteen runs off the over.

RCB 3/0 (1 over): Smooth from Shikha and watchful from Smriti and Sophie. Three runs off the over.

On to the chase, then!

Smriti Mandhana and Sophie Devine open the batting for RCB. Shikha Pandey to bowl.

Just when you think RCB memes were confined to the IPL.

DC innings summary: A massive 224-run target awaits RCB. A brilliant 162-run opening partnership between Shafali and Lanning followed by a calm but strong finish by Kapp and Rodrigues has put DC in a good position. Shafali, in the mid-innings presentation, confirmed that it is a great pitch after all and RCB have a great batting line-up but we’ve seen yesterday how the pressure of the scoreboard can stifle a run-chase early on. So, will we see another one sided performance or will RCB pose a challenge?

DC 223/2 (20 overs): Two boundaries in the over and it’s a strong finish! Brilliant little cameo from South African all-rounder Marizanne Kapp as well, who finishes with an unbeaten 39 off 17. Jemimah, earlier went to the third umpire to check for a no-ball. Great awareness.

DC 211/2 (18 overs): 200 and up for DC! Uff, Kapp! A slog sweep in the second sweep for a massive six over deep mid-wicket followed by another slog sweep over long-on. 16 runs off Knight’s over.

DC 195/2 (18 overs): Much better from Schutt but Kapp slashes the third delivery hard towards backward point. Eight runs off the over.

DC 187/2 (17 overs): RCB continue to leak those boundaries. Two in this over as Jemimah Rodrigues sneaks both of them in. 10 runs off Preeti Bose’s final over.

DC 177/2 (16 overs): Marizanne Kapp joins the party as she sneaks one to the left of backward point and finishes the over with a loft over the sight screen for six. Thirteen runs off Perry’s third over.

DC 164/2 (15 overs): All those bowling changes and options and it’s this one over from Knight that puts a brake on the DC carnage. Properly cleaned up Lanning with the ball crashing into the middle and leg-stump just as she was dancing down the pitch. Then, Shafali too edges one to Richa behind the stumps.

DC 163/2 (14.5): WICKET! Wow, two in an over for Heather Knight. As they say.... When it rains, it pours and it’s the well-set Shafali also has to depart for 84. An end of a brilliant knock.

DC 162/1 (14.3): WICKET! Finally, for RCB. Almost looked like Lanning was looking to get a milestone there as well but the English skipper has dismissed the Australian skipper for 84. Ashes fans, assemble.

DC 153/0 (14 overs): Relatively economical from Perry. Yep, 8 runs off an over is what we call economical now. That’s where we are at in this match.

DC 145/0 (13 overs): 10 runs off Preeti Bose’s over. Think these two are in a race to get to a potential hundred here now. Lanning takes the spinner on for two boundaries and the partnership is 150+ runs strong.

DC 135/0 (12 overs): No shade but Meg and Shafali are really making the RCB bowlers look like they have no plans whatsoever. Renuka comes back on but the openers keep finding their lengths easy to manoeuvre. Shafali, especially finding the gaps with so much ease, scores back-to-back fours to end the over. 16 runs off it.

DC 119/0 (11 overs): FIFTY for Lanning as well! Mighty impressive from the Australian skipper. She’s not had to play as aggressively as Shafali but like Vinayakk pointed out, RCB just seem to have no plans for her. Another bowling change for RCB... they have the options. Heather Knight comes on to bowl but still 14 runs off it. Execution not options, RCB.

Vinayakk: You have to wonder why RCB have allowed Meg Lanning to square cut and drive with all the freedom? 2022 ODI World Cup flashbacks, if you are an Indian fan. Shafali has taken on the bowling, that’s fair but RCB have fed Lanning to her strengths, and she is loving it.

DC 105/0 (10 overs): Up comes 100 for DC and a FIFTY for Shafali! Off just 31 deliveries. Quite the celebration to top it up too. She’s looked brilliant so far. About the over... Schutt changes the lengths but just continues to let the runs flow. 11 runs off it.

DC 94/0 (9 overs): That is some dismantling from Shafali here! Six, four, one, four, one, six.... wow. The opener takes apart Asha for 22 runs in that over.

DC 72/0 (8 overs): Spin continues as Bose returns. And again, the mandatory boundary in just the first delivery. Eight runs off it.

DC 64/0 (7 overs): Leggie Asha Sobhana comes in to bowl as spin is brought back. The runs are leaking from the RCB bowlers so far. Shobana aims to reign it in but there’s still the mandatory boundary off the over and seven runs off it.

DC 57/0 (6 overs): Sophie Devine hasn’t been bowling much off late but the New Zealand skipper has come in to change things up. Smriti makes that bowling change in the hope of getting a wicket but it turns out to be an even expensive over. Slightly rusty? The length is being attacked by the DC openers, four boundaries and a massive twenty runs off it.

DC 37/0 (5 overs): Ellyse Perry comes in to bowl and the crowd’s loving it! DC doing well to get in atleast one boundary per over. Shafali drives across cover for a boundary in the fourth delivery. Eight runs off the over.

DC 29/0 (4 overs): Spin introduced early as left-arm spinner Preeti Bose comes in and she’s welcomed with a six over mid-off by Shafali. A tighter over to follow after that and seven runs off it.

DC 22/0 (3 overs): Lanning pounces on a good length delivery and whacks it over backward square-leg for a four. Five runs off Renuka’s over.

DC 17/0 (2 overs): Lest you remember, Schutt v/s Shafali is a battle - the bowler has got her twice but Schutt also goes for plenty against Shafali. A powerful flick of the wrists over midwicket from Shafali followed by two back-to-back boundaries from Lanning. Three boundaries off the over and it’s a rather expensive start for Schutt. 14 runs.

DC 3/0 (1 over): Renuka doesn’t give easy runs in the powerplay, these two know. Three runs off the over and early observations but Shafali seems faster between the wickets there.

Two recent World Cup winners unite in the middle.

India U19 captain Shafali Verma will open the batting for DC alongside Australian multi-title captain Meg Lanning. Renuka Singh Thakur to open the bowling for RCB.

Vinayakk: Delhi Capitals, the only team who have this option, are playing five overseas players with USA’s Tara Norris in the XI. In our preview, we thought they might play an extra India batter, but they have gone with pacer Arundhati Reddy.

Interesting! DC opt to play the fifth overseas player and include Tara Norris in the XI. The left-arm pacer belongs to USA.


Royal Challengers Bangalore Playing XI: Smriti Mandhana(c), Sophie Devine, Disha Kasat, Ellyse Perry, Richa Ghosh(w), Heather Knight, Kanika Ahuja, Asha Shobana, Preeti Bose, Megan Schutt, Renuka Thakur Singh

Delhi Capitals Playing XI: Shafali Verma, Meg Lanning(c), Marizanne Kapp, Jemimah Rodrigues, Alice Capsey, Jess Jonassen, Taniya Bhatia(w), Arundhati Reddy, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav, Tara Norris

Vinayakk: Nice touch from Smriti Mandhana at the toss to say they are all here not just representing themselves but the former players too, acknowledging Anjum Chopra.

TOSS: Royal Challengers Bangalore win the toss and opt to bowl first.

3:00 pm: Smriti Mandhana in the pre-tournament press conference on comparison with the other No. 18 in RCB, Virat Kohli: “I don’t like the kind of comparison because what he has achieved is amazing. I just hope that I reach that level, but I’m nowhere near. What he has achieved for this franchise, I would like to try and do that.”

Pitch report: Julia Price and Rohan Gavaskar give the pitch report and reckon that it will be run-fest yet again.

2:55 pm: Ahead of the tournament, DC captain Meg Lanning said: “The WPL is massive for the women’s game. This tournament will be a great platform for young girls coming up the ranks. The opportunity for young girls to watch their favourite players in action on TV is very crucial for the development of the game.”

“I have had a few chats with the players and I’m just getting to know their strengths, what they like to do and how they think about things. Hopefully, I can learn something from the girls and give them a little bit of knowledge as well.”

2.45 pm: After a blockbuster start at the opener of the Women’s Premier League last night that saw Mumbai Indians prevail in mighty fashion at the DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai the action moves to the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.

This is a battle between Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, two franchises who haven’t had a title-winning run in the Indian Premier League. But with well-built teams in the Women’s Premier League, they both might finally have a shot.

For starters, Australia skipper Meg Lanning knows a thing or two about winning titles. She’s fresh off yet another title win at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup last week. Meanwhile, Smriti Mandhana leads a star-studded line-up with the likes of Ellyse Perry. Renuka Singh and Richa Ghosh but also has leadership support in New Zealand captain Sophie Devine and England captain Heather Knight.

Here we preview the strengths and weaknesses of both the sides:

WPL 2023, Delhi Capitals preview: With Lanning at the helm and strong Indian core, DC look solid

WPL 2023, RCB preview: Smriti Mandhana-led side look strong after solid recruitment