Mandhana, Perry help RCB get back to winning ways

RCB players celebrating a wicket. Source (X)

Royal Challengers Bangalore will be happy getting back to winning ways after defeating the UP Warriorz in the Women’s Premier League. Batting first and putting up a dominant total on the board put them ahead in the game, making it difficult for the Warriorz to chase it down.

Smriti Mandhana leading the charge

Smriti Mandhana played a captain’s innings, leading from the front for Royal Challengers Bangalore, scoring a blistering knock of 80 runs in just 50 balls comprising 10 fours and three sixes. The start of the innings is so important, and tonight, Mandhana proved why exactly. Setting the tone early in the innings, she put the Warriorz on the back foot immediately. Having no answers to her attacking batting display, the Warriorz’s bowling line-up was left dumbstruck, almost unsure of how to dismiss her. It can be argued that Mandhana has not always looked so fluent with her stroke-play in the tournament. However, it is fair to say that tonight she owned the stage and played a positive brand of cricket, putting her franchise well ahead in the game in the first half itself.

Her innings brought a sense of calm to the batters to follow. The responsibility now lies on the shoulders of Mandhana to try and maintain the same tempo in the remaining matches of the tournament to give her team the best chance of winning the trophy. A captain, after all, has to lead from the front every single game.

Ellyse Perry showcasing her class

Ellyse Perry is a world-class player in her own right. She has played match-winning knocks for her other franchises and Australia in the past. However, what stands out with Perry is the consistency she brings to her game. The RCB batting unit is uplifted enormously with Perry being a part of it, as she is someone who can win you a match from any given situation. Perry supported Mandhana’s onslaught with a fine innings herself, smashing a quickfire 58 in just 37 deliveries.

What’s important to point out here is that it is hardly ever one player who can take you through. It was essential for Perry to partner up with Mandhana to give the Royal Challengers Bangalore a monumental total. Perry seems to be bringing a wealth of experience into the WPL from all the cricket she has played over the years, which will only give RCB a much better shot at winning the upcoming fixtures.


Alyssa Healy and Deepti Sharma’s valiant efforts

The UP Warriorz captain, Alyssa Healy, looked to be in fine touch, but her solid knock of 55 in 38 balls just was not good enough. Healy understood the game situation well but lost her wicket at the wrong time. Just when the Warriorz needed the final push from their captain, she got out due to some clever bowling by Sophie Molineux. Even though tonight wasn’t Healy’s and the Warriorz’ night, they would be taking away a lot of positives from the game.

Deepti Sharma’s quickfire 33 runs were decent from her end as well, but eventually chasing a total nearing 200s was always going to be an uphill task. Deepti, however, proved that she was definitely an asset to this UP team with her all-round ability with both bat and ball. Both Healy and Sharma would be looking to build on the game tonight and prepare for the next one as soon as possible. Even though tonight did not go as planned for the Warriorz, it was a good fight in a tense match situation.

Royal Challengers Bangalore, at the end of the day, were the much better side with their batters firing from the top and most of their bowlers contributing to the wickets column.

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