WPL 2023: Royal Challengers Bangalore faced their third consecutive defeat in the 6th match of the Women’s Premier League against Gujarat Giants. The Gujarat-based franchise claimed their first of the season by 11 runs. It was a high-scoring match and Bangalore almost completed the chase following Sophie Devine’s 45-ball 66 and an unbeaten cameo by Heather Knight (11-ball 30*).

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Batting first, Gujarat Giants lost a quick wicket in Sabbhineni Meghana but Sophia Dunkley and Harleen Deol took the charge. Dunkley was the more dominating partner as she registered the fastest fifty in the Women’s Premier League. She scored 50 off just 18 deliveries and kept accelerating the scoreboard for Gujarat Giants. When her 28-ball 65 came to an end, Deol started adding runs. Deol eventually scored 67 runs off 45 deliveries and remained there till the last over to take the total above 200. Gujarat Giants finally scored 201 runs for the loss of seven wickets. Shreyanka Patil and Heather Knight took two wickets each.

In response, Royal Challengers Bangalore had a decent start. Despite not so impressive strike rate, the top-order batters kept the chase on. Sophie Devine and Ellyse Perry scored 66 runs and 32 runs respectively with Devine ending as the highest scorer for the side. Later an unbeaten 11-ball 30 from Heather Knight took RCB close to the target but they fail short of 11 runs. Royal Challengers Bangalore ended with 190 for the loss of six wickets in 20 overs. Ashleigh Gardner took three wickets for 31 runs whereas Annabel Sutherland took a couple conceding 56 runs.

Score: Gujarat Giants 201/7 beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 190/6 by 11 runs

Player of the Match: Sophia Dunkley (65 off 28)

WPL 2023: Captains speak

Gujarat Giants were captained by Sneh Rana in absence of Beth Mooney. After claiming their first win in three games, Rana said,

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Amazing, incredible, superb effort from the girls, very proud of them. Injury is fine, it will get fine. Defending here in CCI is never easy, it is always high scoring but we lived up to the game. (On Sutherland death bowling) We thought of giving her the overs because she bowls good wide yorkers. I think we have good balance, we have a good combination. This is something we were looking for since the first game, but now that we have got our first points, we are very happy.

Royal Challengers Bangalore became the first team to face three back-to-back defeats in the WPL 2023. Speaking of the same, Mandhana said,

In our bowling, we gave 10-15 above par. Really proud of the way the girls batted. It’s a good outfield – one end is really short. That did play on some of our bowlers’ minds. It’s about being hard on ourselves. The way Shreyanka bowled and batted. Also the way Kanika showed her approach. Those two are the positives from our domestic setup.

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