Mumbai, March 9 (IANS) Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra showered praise on Gujarat Giants all-rounder Harleen Deol, saying her efforts made everyone feel like she dished out a near-perfect knock in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
After Sophia Dunkley fell, Harleen impressed everyone with her exquisite timing and placement to score 67 off 45 balls, hitting nine fours and a six at a strike rate of 148.89 as Gujarat made 201/7, which was enough to give them the first two points of the competition on board, with an 11-run victory over Bangalore at Brabourne Stadium.
“Interestingly, it seemed like she started the game a little slow. At one point, she had just 22 runs in 20 deliveries. From there, you either get out or accelerate as she did. She was absolutely brilliant. She played well against spin, almost a perfect knock from her,” Chopra was quoted as saying by Sports18 and JioCinema.
Veteran India woman batter Punam Raut also gave credit to off-spin all-rounder Sneh Rana for leading the Gujarat Giants with aplomb. “I have seen her development over years and ever since she’s become a captain, her performance has improved.”
“She plays well when faced with a challenge and that’s what we saw today (in the match) when she got hurt. We saw strong fielding and the 11 runs that they (RCB) couldn’t make up was because of the (GG) fielding.”
For Bangalore, it was their third straight loss and another instance of captain Smriti Mandhana having a modest score with the bat in the competition. “I feel Smriti needs to take a step back before being so aggressive to come out of her recent struggles.”
“Play a little defensive, take some time, take a run and rotate strikes, just take your time to attack the next ball. She can use this strategy and use it to improve her form. The pressure of captaincy is also heavy, so to come out of her rut, she’ll need to take some time,” concluded Punam.