WPL 2023: Royal Challengers Bangalore succumbed to a fifth consecutive defeat in the Women’s Premier League on Monday night as Delhi Capitals clinched a six-wicket win in a tense finish. Chasing 151 on what turned out to be a challenging surface to bat on, Delhi Capitals were guided by the pair of Jess Jonassen (29 not out) and Marizanne Kapp (32 not out), who produced an all-round show.
After delivering a superb 4-0-17-0 in the first half, Kapp guided Delhi past the finish line with an unbeaten 32 not out from as many balls, laced with three fours and one six.
Jonassen smacked Renuka Singh for a six and a four to finish off the game with two balls to spare, reaching 29 not out off 15 balls with four fours and one hit over the fence. Delhi Capitals scored 154/4 in 19.4 overs.
Delhi Capitals remained on the second spot in the points table with four wins giving them eight points, whereas RCB were pushed closer to elimination since they have endured a horror campaign in the inaugural WPL, losing all their five matches.
“It was not the best of starts, including my batting. That first 14 overs did really hurt us. 10-15 runs more there would have helped,” RCB skipper Smriti Mandhana said after the game.
Delhi Capitals were rocked early by Megan Schutt, who cleaned up the dangerous Shafali Verma on the second ball of the innings to provide her side with a promising start.
But Alice Capsey took charge as she launched a flurry of boundaries to put Delhi on track. However, her charge was halted by Preeti Bose, who dismissed the right-handed batter for a well-made 38 off 24 balls with eight hits to the fence.
Capsey’s knock was crucial given that it gave her side much-needed momentum on a tough surface where the RCB batters had found life difficult for the majority of their first innings.
Delhi’s leadership pair of Meg Lanning and Jemimah Rodrigues could add only 25 runs before their stand was broken, in the ninth over.
Lanning danced down the track to hit Sobhana Asha over the ropes, but could not get the distance and Heather Knight grabbed a clean catch.
Dismissed for just 15 off 14 balls, the Orange Cap-holder Lanning recorded her lowest score in the league.
“We got ahead and RCB bowled well to come back, nice to get over the line. It would have been nice to finish it earlier but the wicket got slower. Having two experienced batters at the end helped. We just executed really well, if you hit a good length, that’s the most effective way to bowl. A lot to learn from this game,” Lanning said.
A crucial moment arrived in the game on the first ball of the 12th over, when Preeti Bose at point dropped a regulation catch to give a reprieve to Rodrigues, batting on 17.
However, Rodrigues perished in the 15th over after making 32 from 28 balls with three fours, caught by Richa Ghosh off Asha.
The remaining runs were knocked off by Kapp and Jonassen, who added 45 runs for the fifth wicket.
Earlier in the game, RCB scored a competitive score in their 20 overs with Ellyse Perry (67 not out) and Richa Ghosh (37) providing them late impetus.
RCB had managed 50/2 at the halfway mark, but their batters found rhythm and did well to add another 100 to their total in the final 10 overs.
The final six overs yielded 82 runs for RCB, with Perry finishing unbeaten on 67 from 52 balls with four fours and five sixes, and Ghosh producing her best knock in the tournament so far.
The right-handed India and RCB wicketkeeper-batter swatted three fours and as many sixes to make 37 from just 16 balls before a mishit ended her innings off Shikha Pandey.
Pandey was in her element on Monday night, snaffling an important couple of wickets at the top in the form of the out-of-sorts Smriti Mandhana (8) and the dangerous Sophie Devine (21).
Pandey also grabbed a sharp and athletic catch at short fine-leg to get rid of Heather Knight (11) off Tara Norris. However, Pandey dropped Perry on 29 off her own bowling, and the RCB batter made the most of the lifeline.
Kapp, coming off a brilliant five-for in Delhi’s last outing, could not get a wicket on Monday but bowled yet another impressive spell of 4-0-17-0.