Mumbai, March 8 (IANS) As Gujarat Giants survived a scare to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 11 runs and register their first win of WPL 2023 at the Brabourne Stadium on Wednesday, skipper Sneh Rana said she was very proud of ‘superb effort’ from her teammates.
“Amazing, incredible, superb effort from the girls, very proud of them. It (blow to finger) will be fine. Defending here in CCI is never easy, I know it was a tough game, a high scoring game. We lived up to the game,” Rana said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Gujarat’s win was set up by opener Sophia Dunkley slamming a breath-taking 65 off 28 balls, including hitting the fastest fifty of the tournament in 18 balls, through 11 fours and three sixes at a strike rate of 232.14.
After her departure, Harleen Deol impressed everyone with her 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.
With the ball, Ashleigh Gardner picked 3/32 while Annabel Sutherland, despite being expensive, managed to defend 24 runs off the final over to end up with 2/56 and give Gujarat their first two points.
“We thought of giving her (Annabel) a few overs because she bowls good wide yorkers. I think we are a balanced team, we have good batters and we have a good combination of players. It’s something we were looking for from the first win and now we have got it (the win),” added Sneh.
For the third consecutive time in the competition, Bangalore’s bowling was taken apart, barring Shreyanka Patil and Heather Knight taking four wickets while conceding 49 runs off six overs between them. Their fielding and catching wasn’t up to the mark too.
In chasing 202, Sophie Devine came out all guns blazing, slamming eight fours and two sixes in her 45-ball knock while Heather Knight also landed some big blows to keep Bangalore in the hunt. But Gujarat taking five wickets after the half-way stage meant Bangalore ended up at 190/6 in 20 overs and are now rooted to the bottom of points table.
RCb captain Smriti Mandhana admitted that the bowlers gave away more runs than the expected margins.
“I think I’d say even in our bowling, we gave away 10-15 runs more than what we expected to. There were two-three overs where we conceded a lot, and not 6-7 runs. We would have gotten better (with the target) otherwise. It’s a good outfield, one end is really short, that did play with few of our bowlers’ in mind, we are trying to work on it,” said Mandhana.
At the same time, Smriti was impressed with Shreyanka turning out to be a contributor with bat and ball, while mentioning some big hits from Kanika Ahuja.
“A few positives. Shreyanka, the way she bowled and batted, she is a tough girl. And also Kanika’s performance, they both have been good from the domestic circuit,” she said.