WPL: Mooney-Wolvaardt opening partnership help Giants secure their first victory

Gujarat Giants broke their losing streak in the Women’s Premier League (WPL), seizing 18 runs victory against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a nail-biting encounter, at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Gujarat Giants broke their losing streak in the Women’s Premier League (WPL), seizing 18 runs victory against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a nail-biting encounter, at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Having suffered four consecutive defeats in Bengaluru, the Giants entered the match with a sense of urgency, determined to turn their fortunes around. Opting to bat first, they defied convention by setting a formidable target, powered by a sensational century opening stand between Laura Wolvaardt and Beth Mooney.

Wolvaardt and Mooney’s partnership, which amassed 140 runs, provided the Giants with the much-needed momentum, laying the foundation for their resurgence in the tournament. Wolvaardt went on to record the first fifty by a Giants batter this year and she did so off just 32 balls with a stunning straight drive past Ellyse Perry their stand grew to 140, and skipper Mooney batted till the end and finished on 85 not out to take her teak to their second-highest total 199 for 5 in WPL history, setting the stage for a thrilling showdown.

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However, the Royal Challengers Bangalore, known for their formidable chasing abilities, proved to be formidable opponents. RCB chased down 189 against Giants last year when Sophie Devine scored 99 from the opening berth and she looked in the mood for a repeat.

Sophie Devine mounted a spirited pursuit of the daunting target set by the Giants. Devine’s aggressive batting threatened to tip the scales in RCB’s favor, instilling hope of a remarkable comeback. Yet, her dismissal at a crucial juncture provided the Giants with a glimmer of hope, setting the stage for a tense finale.

Devine was at the crease two balls after the powerplay, with RCB on 42 for 2. She took them to halfway in a good position in 76 for 2 but then was bowled by left-arm spinner Tanuja Kanwar to leave RCB’s middle order to finish the job.

With Richa Ghosh and Georgia Wareham staging a valiant effort, RCB remained in contention until the very end. However, Wareham’s explosive batting display in the death overs injected fresh drama into the contest, reigniting RCB’s hopes of an improbable victory.

Richa Ghosh played a spirited hand with 30 off 20 balls and shared in a stand of 33 with Georgia Wareham, who scored 48 off 22, but skied an Ash Gardner full toss to Meghna Singh at cover and all but ended RCB’s hopes.

In the end, it was a tale of resilience and determination as the Gujarat Giants held their nerve to secure a hard-fought victory. With their first points on the board, they now stand poised to mount a formidable challenge in the race for the knockout stages, signaling a potential resurgence in their WPL campaign.

Brief score:

Gujarat Giants 199 for 5 in 20 overs (Beth Mooney 85*, Laura Wolvaardt 76; Sophie Molineux 1-32, Georgia Wareham 1-36) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 180 for 8 in 20 overs (Georgia Wareham 48, Smriti Mandhana 24; Ashleigh Gardner 2-23, Kathryn Bryce 1-26) by 19 runs.

(IANS)

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