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WPL 2023: Top spell from Gardner outshines Devine's heroic fifty, GG beat RCB by 11 runs

Mumbai: A splendid bowling spell from all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner and a skilful, calm display of death bowling helped Gujarat Giants clinch their first win of the ongoing Women's Premier League (WPL), defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 11 runs, despite top knocks from Sophie Devine and Ellyse Perry.
With this win, GT is at the fourth position in the table with one win in three games and two points. RCB has lost all of their three games and is yet to earn a point. Chasing 202, RCB got off to a great start. Openers Smriti Mandhana and Sophie Devine continued with their attacking strokes as witnessed during the first two games. Devine was looking lethal after failing to score in her previous two outings.
Sophie smashed Annabel Sutherland for three straight fours in the start of the fifth over, helping her side reach the 50-run mark without a loss of wicket in just 4.3 overs.
With Smriti holding the other end steady, RCB looked set for a massive opening stand. But off spin once again haunted skipper Smriti, ending her innings at 18 runs off 14 balls. It was Ashleigh Gardner who got her wicket. RCB was 54/1 at that point.
Ellyse Perry was next up at the crease and she announced her arrival with a drive in the extra cover region on her second ball. At the end of powerplay, RCB was at 59/1, with Devine (31*) and Perry (5*).
Smriti's dismissal dried up RCB's prolific run flow, with Perry-Devine taking some singles and doubles to build a partnership.
At the end of 10 overs, RCB was at 82/1, with Devine (36*) and Perry (22*) unbeaten. They needed 120 in the final 10 overs.
After a while of rotating the strike, Perry relieved some pressure by smashing Mansi Joshi for two straight fours in the 12th over. But the bowler had the last laugh as she picked up her wicket for 32 off 25 balls. RCB was 97/2 at that point, needing 105 in 49 balls. Joshi ended the 43-run stand between Perry-Devine.
Richa Ghosh was next up on the crease. RCB crossed the 100-run mark in 12.1 overs after a four from Devine. She brought up her half-century in 36 balls, studded with eight fours.
In the first over of the 15th over, Devine smashed Tanuja Kanwar for the first six of the innings.
At the end of 15 overs, RCB was at 125/2 and needed 77 runs in the final five. Between 11-15 overs, they scored 43 runs.
Gardner started the 16th over by dismantling Richa's stumps, sending her back for just 10. RCB was at 125/3 and it was a big wicket for Gardner, given Richa's finishing abilities. However, Heather Knight ended the over with two fours to bring down the equation to 67 runs in the final four overs.

Heather looked to add more life to the chase with a six on the first ball of the next over, but was dismissed on the very next ball by Sutherland for 66 off 45 balls, consisting of eight fours and two sixes. RCB was 141/4 in 16.2 overs and it was Gardner who took a catch at long-on to keep the game in the balance.
Heather smashed three straight fours after the wicket, helping RCB to the 150-run mark in 16.5 overs. They needed 44 in the final three overs.
Kanika Ahuja, the next batter on the crease started the next over well with a boundary on the first ball. RCB were in contention after a good 18th over, as they needed 33 in the final two overs.
Gardner came back to haunt RCB, dismissing Kanika for 10 off seven balls. RCB was 169/5 in 18.1 overs, needing 33 in 11 balls.
RCB needed 24 in the final over. But the over started with the wicket of Poonam Khemnar for 2. RCB was 178/6 and needed 24 in five balls.
RCB failed to complete the chase, finishing at 190/6 in 20 overs, with Shreyanka (11*) and Heather (30*) unbeaten.
Ashleigh was the pick of the bowlers for Gujarat, taking 3/31 in her four overs. Sutherland and Mansi got one wicket each.
Top knocks by Sophia Dunkley and Harleen Deol powered Gujarat Giants (GG) to 201/7 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023 match here at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Deol was the highest run scorer for GG with 67 while Dunkley played a superb knock of 65 runs in 28 deliveries. For RCB, Shreyanka Patil and Heather Knight bagged two wickets respectively.
Put to field first, Megan Schutt put Gujarat Giants openers in a tight hold as she restricted them from even taking a single run to finish her over as maiden. Gujarat openers Sabbhineni Meghana and Sophia Dunkley then opened their hands as they gathered 9 runs from Ellyse Perry's over.

Despite being hammered for three boundaries in the 3rd over Schutt drew first blood as she dismissed Meghana for 8. Dunkley continued her red-hot form and slammed Renuka Thakur Singh for 14 runs with the help of two fours and one six.
Dunkley raced to her 18-ball fifty while slamming Preeti Bose for 23 runs all thanks to her four boundaries and one maximum in the 5th over of the game. Dunkley slammed an 18-ball fifty which is the fastest by a player in WPL so far.
Harleen Deol then joined hands with Dunkley and the duo slammed the RCB bowlers all around the ground while taking risky singles. However, Dunkley's stint at the crease came to an end as Shreyanka Patil dismissed her. Dunkley returned to the pavilion after playing a superb knock of 65 runs.
The right-handed batter Ashleigh Gardner then came out to bat on the crease. After 10 overs Gujarat Giants' score read 97/2.
After Dunkley's dismissal, Deol handled the charge and along with Gardner, the duo slammed Bangalore bowlers for boundaries at regular intervals.
Heather Knight provided her team with a great wicket as she removed Gardner for 19 in the 14th over of the game. The right-handed batter Dayalan Hemalatha then came out to bat.
Hemalatha's quickfire knock of 16 runs came to an end as she was removed by Knight in the 16th over of the game. Deol brought up her crucial half-century in just 35 balls.
Deol slammed Perry for 20 runs in the 17th over of the game with the help of three back-to-back fours and one six.
In the 19th over, Renuka removed Annabel Sutherland for 14. Gujarat lost their batters in quick succession as Sneh Rana was run out and well-set batter Harleen Deol was bowled out by Patil. Deol returned after playing a much-needed knock of 67 runs and smashed the cherry around to aid her side to a challenging total of 201/7 in 20 overs.
Brief score: Gujarat Giants 201/7 (Harleen Deol 67, Sophia Dunkley 65; Heather Knight 2-17) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 190/6 (Sophie Devine 66, Ellyse Perry 32, Ashleigh Gardner 3/31). (ANI)

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