WPL 2024: RCB Hold Nerve to Beat UP Warriorz by 2 Runs in Chinnaswamy Cliffhanger

Last Updated: February 24, 2024, 23:29 IST

RCB defeated UP Warriorz by 2 runs

RCB defeated UP Warriorz by 2 runs

The 2-run win took the Royal Challengers Bangalore to the top of the points table with 2 points and a Net Run Rate of +0.100.

A superb display of leg-spin bowling by Asha Sobhana (5 for 22 in 4 overs) helped hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) defeat UP Warriorz by two runs in yet another cliffhanger in front of a packed M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Chasing 158 runs for victory, Warriorz got off to the worst possible start as captain Alyssa Healy fell cheaply (5 runs off 4 balls) to fellow Aussie Sophie Molineux, who got a ball to turn slightly and dislodge the off stump. The RCB bowlers kept a tight lid on proceedings in the Powerplay, despite the presence of the second-ranked T20I batter in Tahlia McGrath-along with debutant Vrinda Dinesh in the middle.

McGrath tried to ease the pressure with the occasional boundary, but Dinesh found the going tough and was eventually stumped (18 runs off 28 balls) to leg-spinner Sobhana in the ninth over of the innings.

Sobhana dented the Warriorz further and put her side in prime position for a victory by removing McGrath (22 runs off 18 balls, with 95 runs in her team’s bank at the halfway point of the innings.

Grace Harris, who had won the Warriorz their opening WPL clash last year against Gujarat Giants from a near-dead position, took the mantle upon her again to perform similar heroics and with support from Shweta Sehrawat, began to lay the foundation in the chase, combining singles and twos with an odd boundary in between to keep their side in the hunt.

At 116 for 3 with five overs to go, RCB were in desperate need of a wicket or two. An over later, the match turned in the hosts’ favour to such an extent that it was as good as done after Sobhana removed Sehrawat (31 runs off 25 balls), Harris (38 runs off 23 balls) and Kiran Navgire (1 run off 3 balls) to claim the maiden fifer of this year’s tournament.

Poonam Khemnar tried to keep the Warriorz in the match, but she fell for 14 runs to Georgia Wareham. The equation came down to 5 runs off the last ball ala like Friday, but Molinuex held her nerve and denied Warriorz a last-ball win.

Earlier, a 71-run stand for the fourth wicket between Sabbhineni Meghana (53 runs off 44 balls) and Richa Ghosh (62 runs off 37 balls) helped RCB post 157 for 6 in their 20 overs after Healy won the toss and opted to field first.

RCB were dented early in the Powerplay as Sophie Devine fell (1 run off 5 balls), lbw to Harris. Meghana-making her RCB debut-and skipper Mandhana then started to build the innings and the latter received a reprieve, dropped by Rajeshwari Gayakwad on 12. But she failed to make the most of the chance and was dismissed soon after, caught by Dinesh off the bowling of McGrath for 13.

When Elysse Perry also fell cheaply for 8, RCB needed Meghana to bat deep into the innings and put on a sizeable stand with one of the middle-order batters. She found company in wicket-keeper batter Ghosh and the pair, slowly but steadily, put the pressure back on the Warriorz attack.

Meghana got to her first WPL fifty in the 13th over, but just when the pair looked good to give RCB the final flourish, Gayakwad struck twice in the 17th over to send Meghana and debutant Georgia Wareham (0 off 3 balls), in the space of few balls.

The onus fell on Ghosh to take RCB to a defendable score and the Siliguri batter gave them the boost they needed before getting cleaned up by Deepti Sharma.

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