WPL: Bangalore regain momentum with a 23-run victory over UP

The 11th match of the 2024 Women’s Premier League was played between UP Warriorz and Royal Challengers Bangalore Women at Bengaluru’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. The RCB secured a convincing win, defeating UP by 23 runs to make a return to the winning form in the event.

Winning the toss, the Warriorz chose to field before RCB got off to a strong start with openers Sabbhineni Meghana and Smriti Mandhana accumulating 51 runs in five overs. Meghana was caught by Chamari Athapaththu for 28 off 21 off Anjali Sarvani.

The Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry partnered with Mandhana, forming a remarkable 95-run partnership. Mandhana displayed an impressive performance, scoring 80 off 50, including ten fours and three sixes. A late surge by Perry and Richa Ghosh propelled Royal Challengers Bangalore to tall 198/3. Perry contributed 58 runs, while Ghosh added 21. Sarvani, Deepti Sharma, and Sophie Ecclestone each claimed one wicket for UP.

Chasing a daunting 199, UP began strongly with Alyssa Healey and Kiran Navgire combining for 47 runs in the opening four overs. Following Navgire’s departure, Healey continued to play aggressively but lacked support from her teammates as Athapaththu, Grace Harris, and Shweta Sehrawat scored eight, five, and one respectively, leaving UP in a tough situation. Healey was also eventually dismissed for 55.

Towards the end, Deepti Sharma and Poonam Khemnar showed some promise, but UP fell short by 23 runs as RCB ended the Bengaluru leg of the tournament on the perfect note. Asha Sobhana, Sophie Devine, Sophie Molineux, and Georgia Wareham each secured two wickets for RCB.

Top Performers of the Match

Smriti Mandhana (80 of 50)

RCB captain Smriti Mandhana showcased her batting prowess, playing a scintillating knock of 80 off 50 balls, featuring ten fours and three sixes. Her brilliant on-the-up drives and powerful slog sweeps were the highlights of her innings, making her stand out throughout the match. Her innings ultimately proved to be the difference-maker in the match.

Sophie Ecclestone (1/22, 4 overs)

Despite UP losing the match, Sophie Ecclestone emerged as the standout bowler in the high-scoring affair. She delivered a remarkable four-over spell, conceding only 22 runs and claiming one wicket. Her performance disrupted RCB’s run-flow in the middle overs, preventing them from crossing the 200-run which looked certain at one point of the game.

What next?

RCB are set to face Gujarat Giants on March 6 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi while UP Warriorz are scheduled to play Mumbai Indians at the same venue on March 7.