Royal Challengers Bangalore are being royally challenged in the inaugural edition of Women’s Premier League and their captain Smriti Mandhana shouldered the blame for the batting woes after their fourth straight defeat in Mumbai on Friday.

UP Warriorz won the contest by 10 wickets at Brabourne Stadium with Alyssa Healy scoring an unbeaten 96 after their spinners restricting RCB to 138 all out.

And once again, RCB were off to a good start with the bat before suffering a rather incredible collapse. Fourth match on the trot, Mandhana was dismissed by a spinner.

“In the last four games it’s been happening. We start well and then lose a cluster of wickets,” Mandhana said. “Yeah, I take the blame as well. As a top order bat, will have to get some runs on the board for the bowlers to defend. Overs 7-15 we spoke about getting 7s or 8s per over. That didn’t work out today.”

Mandhana got the backing of Ellyse Perry, who top-scored for RCB.

“To be honest, knowing Smriti and how proud and responsible she is for her own game, there’s probably no more pressure on her than what she is putting on herself,” Perry said after the match in the press conference. “It’s a ginormous task to come into a brand new competition, play with a group of players she’s never played with before and try and make that all gel in a matter of a couple of days since she joined the group.

“She is an incredible player, we all know that. I think she is a great captain too, she just needs a chance to find her feet in the tournament and she will, no doubt. But I think, the bigger picture, it means we are going to see an even better version of Smriti after this because I’m sure there is so much she has learnt from this competition already both as a captain and as a batter to make her better in the future. She’s only a youngster right?”

Mandhana told the broadcasters that it has been a tough week and she will try her best to introspect.

“I’ve tried to speak to almost all the players about it, tried to pep them up. We’ll have to keep doing it. Last one week has been really tough on the team. Lots to reflect, lots to work on. It’s important to introspect,” the captain said.

“I should admit last week has been really tough (personally). Lot of people have reached out to me. But as I said as international cricketers we have faced these situations. It’s a different ball-game in franchise cricket. I have my family around, but I believe you have to sit by yourself and rectify mistakes. I am big on that and I’ll have to do that a lot more today.”

While the batting has come under the scanner, it is worth noting that RCB’s bowling woes have been perhaps sharper. There have been three century stands in the tournament so far. Meg Lanning and Shafali Verma for Delhi Capitals, Nat Sciver-Brunt and Hayley Matthews for Mumbai Indians, and Alyssa Healy and Devika Vaidya for UP Warriorz.

All of those have come against RCB’s bowling.