WPL 2023, GG vs RCB blog: Gujarat Giants hold their nerves as Smriti Mandhana and Co remain win-less
Recap of Match No 6 at WPL 2023.
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TOSS: Sneh Rana opts to bat first
First innings: GG 201/7 after 20 overs, half centuries for Dunkley and Deol
Second innings: RCB 190/6 after 20 overs, Gardner with three wickets
WPL 2023 is here finally: Of Harry, Harris and happiness at Women’s Premier League being a reality
That will be all for the blog. On Thursday, we have a blockbuster on the cards. Harmanpreet Kaur vs Meg Lanning. Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals.
Points table: Tough to see RCB come into the top three from here, especially since they are essentially fighting for one place. But hey, stranger things have happened. They will need to absolutely win their remaining matches against UPW and GG, and hope for favours from MI and DC.
Sophia Dunkley: Player of the match.
Sneh Rana: Amazing, incredible effort by girls. Hope injury will be fine, I can’t afford more injuries on my hand (with all the bandages). We are a good balanced team, we have good combinations. We are very happy with the points on board.
The fact that Sneh Rana wasn’t in the main India squad but came into the XI straight from reserves is something that I will never understand. Another classic India selection moment.
ICC Women’s T20 World Cup: India’s selection puzzles, support-staff musical chairs need a solution
Smriti Mandhana: Few runs extra, above par and then few low-scoring overs with the bat. The way Shreyanka bowled and batted, it was great. Kanika’s approach too. Two good performers in the last two games.
RCB 190/6 after 20 overs: Shreyanka Patil, remember the name! She plays a little cameo in the end but the match was over by then. Gujarat Giants hold their nerve to register their first win. GG win by 11 runs.
RCB 178/6 after 19.1 overs: WICKET! And Knight won’t be on strike. Poor from RCB. Again. Khemnar goes for a ramp and finds the fielder.
RCB 178/5 after 19 overs: Sutherland to bowl, correction.
RCB 178/5 after 19 overs: Knight finishes the over with a six but that means she will be off strike for the start of the last over. RCB need 24 from 6 balls.
Khemnar the new batter.
RCB 169/5 after 18.1 overs: WICKET! How good is it to have a bowler like Gardner to go with a batter like Gardner? Ahuja st Verma b Gardner 10 (7 balls)
Ahuja will be on strike. Gardner to bowl
RCB 169/4 after 18 overs: 11 runs from that over, as Ahuja hits a sweep well. Not bad from Rana to be honest. 33 needed off 12 balls, you’d still back the bowling side here.
17.2 overs: Ahuja starts the over with a four through cover. Next there is a no-ball review for full toss and it is a good call on field. The ball was dipping. Rana got away with one there.
Need 44 from 18 balls. Suddenly not improbable.
RCB 158/4 after 17 overs: KNIGHT! What an over for RCB eventually. Three fours in the back-end of that Sutherland over and it is a 23-run over for RCB!
RCB 141/4 after 16.2 overs: WICKET! Six and out. Sutherland digs one short, sent over midwicket for six. Then a full toss, but Devine hits it to long on. End of a good innings and with it perhaps RCB’s hopes. c Gardner b Sutherland 66 (45 balls)
67 needed from 24 balls. Surely not again for GG?
RCB 135/3 after 16 overs: Knight is off to a good start. If Richa is watching, great example of trusting the timing and looking for gaps by reading what the bowler’s plans are. Two fours through the offside.
RCB 125/3 after 15.1 overs: WICKET! Richa just never got any sort of timing tonight. Gives room and is bowled by a straight one. Ghosh b Gardner 10 (10 balls)
Gardner into the attack.
Required rate 15.40 now. RCB need 77 from 30 balls. Too much to do? They have two hitters in the middle but just not enough frequency of boundaries.
RCB 125/2 after 15 overs: Tanuja Kanwer with a superb 0/28 in 4 overs, that last over especially good after getting hit for six first ball by Devine. Keeps it outside off or really full on the legs.
Tanuja Kanwar has been great so far today, can she finish well?
RCB 117/2 after 13 overs: Richa Ghosh gets a move on. Little streaky but she’ll take it. Two fours behind the wicket on the off side off Rana. Decent over for RCB.
Required rate over 13, Rana back to bowl
RCB 106/2 after 13 overs: HALF CENTURY! A 36-ball 50 for Sophie Devine. She started off brilliantly, can she help RCB finish this chase? It’s getting tougher out there. Richa Ghosh is struggling to put bat on ball early on.
RCB 97/2 after 12 overs: Richa in the middle with Devine. This is it for RCB. This partnership must go big. Garth to bowl.
RCB 97/2 after 11.5 overs: WICKET! Four, four, dot, out. Perry sees the need for big runs in this over, but she is out after hitting two boundaries. Really, that was a boundary ball too but she cuts it straight to the fielder. Perry c Hemalatha b Joshi 32 (25 balls
Joshi in. Surely RCB must go hard here.
RCB 88/1 after 11 overs: A terrific over from Kanwar as both Devine and Perry struggle for timing. Just half the required rate.
RCB 82/1 after 10 overs: A round 120 needed from the last 10 overs. A four for Perry in Rana’s over and RCB need a few more of those.
Rana seems ok to continue. It might actually be the non-bowling finger, so shouldn’t be an issue for now.
Break in play: Ouch, Rana stops a straight drive and there is blood on her hands.
128 runs from 11 overs needed. Back after a timeout, Rana will continue.
RCB 74/1 after 9 overs: A four in that Sutherland over for Perry, Gardner does so well to prevent another last ball. Time for a timeout.
RCB 66/1 after 8 overs: Another solid over for GG, just 4 off captain Rana. Giants are pulling this back.
RCB 62/1 after 7 overs: We are still thinking about that Mandhana dismissal, can’t imagine how the fans feel. Such a predictable, frustrating way to go. A good over from Kanwer meanwhile.
RCB 59/1 after 6 overs: After a brilliant start in the powerplay, Smriti Mandhana goes against her match-up and dismissed by Ash Gardner.
RCB 54/1 after 5.2 overs: WICKET! Poor from Mandhana. That is just playing into Gujarat Giants’ plans. Just had to give the strike to Sophie Devine. Such a frustrating way to go with the start they had. Mandhana c Joshi b Gardner 18 (14 balls)
RCB 54/0 after 5 overs: HAT-TRICK OF FOURS! Devine goes hard after Sutherland too, the third of those fours smacked back so hard, like a double-handed backhand down the line. The camera pans to Sania Mirza!
Sutherland into the attack. Surprised not to see spin here, really.
RCB 40/0 after 4 overs: OH DEAR! The match-up nearly pays off. Mandhana with a loose shot off Gardner but the ball falls just short of Gardner. She is then nearly run out. Should have been really. Devine with the four earlier in the over.
RCB 33/0 after 3 overs: Here we go. Devine starts the over with two fours (lucky with the first one) and Mandhana with a superb cover drive to finish it off. Garth goes for three fours
RCB 20/0 after 2 overs: Interesting to hear Gardner, mic’d up, say that she’d have bowled if Mandhana was on strike this over. But she does get the strike and hits two fours, a little bit streaky both of them, down the ground but not cleanly hit.
No Gardner but Kanwar now.
RCB 9/0 after 1 over: No boundary off the bat in Garth’s over but four leg byes will help.
Devine and Mandhana in the middle. Garth to start. Here we go. Get the feeling this could be close.
GG 201/7 after 20 overs: A four for Sushma Verma but Patil finishes with another yorker-ish delivery for just a single. That is actually not a bad effort in the end from RCB and a lot of it was down to this Karnataka youngster, with 4-0-32-2.
GG 192/6 after 19 overs: WICKET! Patil, wow. What a night she is having. Bowling the pressure last over and she gets the well-set batter. Deol b Patil 67 (45 balls)
GG 192/6 after 19 overs: WICKET! Ellyse Perry, the machine, with a gun throw from midwicket. Rana did the right thing to keep Deol on strike. Rana run out (Perry/Ghosh) 2 (3 balls)
GG 187/5 after 18.1 overs: WICKET! Pacer brought back in and breakthrough. That is a solid catch at long off by the English captain. Sutherland is capable of going big, that is an important wicket. Sutherland c Knight b Renuka Singh 14 (8 balls)
GG 187/4 after 18 overs: What a great over by Patil. Bowls a wonderful full length. Just one four and that too should have been fielded better.
GG 181/4 after 17 overs Oh, there was a dropped catch too in that Perry over as Bose slipped. Harleen has been lucky tonight and she is making the most of it.
Shreyanka Patil to bowl the 18th. Pressure, pressure.
GG 181/4 after 17 overs: Ouch, what was that about keeping GG below 200? A massive over from Perry. Half century for Harleen Deol, scores a hat-trick of fours either side of the milestone. Then Sutherland with a massive six over midwicket for six.
GG 161/4 after 16 overs: If RCB can somehow keep GG below 200 here, they’d actually come out feeling pretty good. Sutherland joins Deol.
Dismissed for a 7-ball 16 (her first dismissal of the tournament) but once again Hemalatha with a good contribution. Indian selectors should be watching.
GG 157/4 after 15.3 overs: WICKET! Once again, Knight delivers. An important wicket too as Hemalatha was looking dangerous. Hemalatha c Renuka Singh b Knight 16 (7 balls)
GG 152/3 after 15 overs: That really wasn’t very smart from RCB. Brought back Bose on, who has not had a good day. Hemalatha goes after her too, 6 and two 4s in that over.
GG 135/3 after 13.5 overs: WICKET! That’s a big breakthrough and could reduce RCB’s target significantly. Knight, who has been RCBs wrecker-in-chief (kinda) gets a massive wicket as Gardner misses the ball coming down the ground. Gardner st Ghosh b Knight 19 (15 balls)
GG 128/2 after 11 overs: Another four for Deol in that over, but otherwise tight from Bose. A nice sweep shot.
ESPNCricinfo confirming what has been hinted by the PCB press release from earlier today. Laura Wolvaardt will be replacing Mooney at Giants.
GG 120/2 after 12 overs: Harleen Deol is now striking at 136.00. There hasn’t been too much pressure on her too. Expensive over from Schutt, with a four and six for Deol.
GG 107/2 after 11 overs: Gardner will take it, a streaky outside edge over short-third to get her going. A four earlier for Deol too, nice sweep shot. Thakur hasn’t had a good night.
GG 97/2 after 10 overs: Correction. Halfway stage.
GG 97/2 after 10 overs: Six singles in Shreyanka Patil’s second over. Apart from a wicket, that is as good as it could get. Ash Gardner is the new batter in by the way. If she unleashes herself, RCB have a long night ahead.
GG 91/2 after 9 overs: Ah Harleen Deol, you enigma. Gets to face a free hit and guides to point for a single. But then plays a lovely lofted straight drive for four.
GG 82/2 after 8 overs: WICKET! BIG WICKET! Patil was hit for a six and four but she has the last laugh (a wide smile really) as Dunkley lofts one to long off. End of a fabulous knock. Dunkley c Knight b Patil 65 (28 balls)
Shreyanka Patil time. She was expensive with the ball last match, RCB need her to provide breakthrough(s)
GG 71/1 after 7 overs: RCB have a big problem if they can’t keep Deol quite either, who is normally a slow starter. She hits a superbly placed four through cover in Thakur’s over.
Renuka to continue after the time out. Harleen Deol can just do what she is good at for now to keep putting Dunkley on strike as much as she can.
GG 64/1 after 6 overs: Late call for a timeout from RCB it seems so. It’s chaotic.
GG 64/1 after 6 overs: WHAT A POWERPLAY. Remember when this match started with a maiden over? Sensational from Dunkley, not very good at all from RCB to keep feeding her balls in the slot. 4-6-4-4-4 in Pooja Bose’s over and she reaches a 18-ball half century in the fifth over. Perry brings some normalcy to the proceedings in the sixth over.
Time for spin. Preeti Bose. Pressure on RCB.
GG 36/1 after 4 overs: Dunkley on the charge! Two brilliant shots through the offside, first lofted for six and then along the ground for four. A streaky edge for four earlier in the over too. Expensive from Thakur.
Renuka into the attack.
GG 22/1 after 3 overs: WICKET! Giants looked to get a move on. Width to Dunkley and she hits two fours to start the over. Schutt got driven by Meghana for four but shortens the length and gets the edge, no mistake from Ghosh here. Meghana c Ghosh b Schutt 8 (11 balls)
GG 9/0 after 2 overs: DROPPED! Perry should have had a wicket there, lovely shape away from Meghana. The outside edge goes past by Ghosh who took the wrong step to start. Bad miss that. Dunkley scored the first runs with a scoop four after 8 dot balls to start the match.
GG 0/0 after 1 over: MAIDEN OVER! Well that will certainly help RCB settle into this contest. Schutt loves to swing the ball in, but there’s not been much on offer. So she resorts to steady length on the off and around. A leg cutter too through in. Meghana can’t find a move on.
Megan Schutt with the ball in hand. Meghana and Dunkley in the middle.
7.25 pm: RCB have picked up just three wickets in the tournament so far, conceded a couple of huge partnerships too between Lanning/Shafali and Sciver-Brunt/Matthews. That will be the first area to address today. Early wickets needed.
While the pressure of chasing will be on Mandhana and Co, this should help you feel better RCB fans.
GG XI: S Meghana, Sophia Dunkley, Harleen Deol, Ashleigh Gardner, Dayalan Hemalatha, Annabel Sutherland, Sushma Verma (wk), Sneh Rana (c), Kim Garth, Mansi Joshi, Tanuja Kanwar
RCB XI: Smriti Mandhana(c), Sophie Devine, Ellyse Perry, Heather Knight, Richa Ghosh(w), Poonam Khemnar, Kanika Ahuja, Shreyanka Patil, Megan Schutt, Renuka Thakur Singh, Preeti Bose
Sneh Rana said at the toss they want to bat freely and use the depth they have. There has been only one chase successful so far. RCB have struggled with their batting so far. Already pressure for sure on RCB.
RCB mentor Sania Mirza on her huddle talk: Told the girls that we need to remember why we are here. Embrace the pressure.
Team news: Sneh Rana and Co avoid the temptation to change things up, Smriti Mandhana says Disha Kasat (who hasn’t managed to get going in the two matches) is being replaced by Poonam Khemnar, a hard-hitting option.
TOSS: Gujarat Giants win the toss, to bat first. No changes in their lineup after a close defeat against UP.
06.58 pm: Sneh Rana and Smriti Mandhana getting ready for the toss of what is already must-win territory for both teams. Mithali Raj says in the pre-match chat that physio / franchise will update on Beth Mooney sometime soon. She is at the venue for what it is worth.
06.55 pmL Hello and welcome to the live coverage of Women’s Premier League. It’s match No 6 and it is, arguably, already must-win territory for the two teams in action.
Gujarat Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore have both played two and lost two, and by some big margins too. The Net Run Rate is weak and the points on board reads zero. For one of them both will improve tonight, for another, it is going to be near improbable to finish in the top three from here on.
Who will come out on top?
Photos / screenshots in the blog courtesy: Sportzpics / wplt20.com and JioCinema