Sophie Devine and her 99-run knock of just 36 balls has won it all with her one of the most blistering performances in her career that helped RCB clinch their second win of the game against Gujarat Giants that too much thunderingly with 27 balls remaining and eight wickets in hand. Devine has been further adjudged as the Player of the Match of the historic knock.
With the first win in their last game, RCB went into today’s fixture with a hope to consider a second victory in the tournament that too with a remarkable net run rate. To commence, Giants won the toss and elected to bat first. Sophia Dunkley and Laura Wolvaardt walked into the middle to put a commendable score on the board. On the other hand, Sophie Devine was handed the new ball.
The first over of the match brought some great confidence for the Giants as Dunkley was able to grasp two of the deliveries for wonderful boundaries. A rare copy-paste was seen from Wolvaardt’s bat with two similar boundaries in the following over. Although Dunkley looked in great touch with her third boundary in the third over but finally fell to Sophie Devine’s fourth delivery at just 16.
The next three overs saw Wolvaardt’s excellence with the bat that brought her a boundary in each of the overs. Sabbhineni Meghana also took to the set momentum and contributed her first boundary through the wide covers. A nice and fair play of cricket was on the scene as both the batters looked great with their bats and kept on moving the scoreboard with timely singles, doubles and fours until Meghana got stumped in the twelfth over to depart at 31 off 32 balls.
Next in the order was the most celebrated Ashleigh Gardner who came up with the first maximum of the fixture on the fifth ball of the thirteenth over. Wolvaardt kept the scoreboard running from the other end with two back-to-back smashes, a four and a six in the fourteenth over. And this is how a remarkable half-century for Wolvaardt came up and it continued till she finally left for the pavilion in the seventeenth over at a spectacular knock of 68 off just 42 balls.
Having things all set, Gardner now used the momentum to advance the score with three hammering boundaries in the eighteenth over before finally leaving at an LBW for the dugout at a furious 41 of 26 balls. The last over saw a torrential rain of runs as Dayalan Hemalatha and Harleen Deol contributed a combination of four and six from both of their bats that summarized the score at 188 for the loss of 4.
To start the chase, Smriti Mandhana and Sophie Devine trotted in confidently where the skipper kicked off well with a boundary in the first over. Devine seemed gigantic with her bat as she hammered each ball of the second over as if mercilessly punishing Ashleigh Gardner rudely with two sixes and three fours. The next eight balls in the row remain silent until the skipper came joined hands into the attack with a mesmerizing maximum on the third ball of the fourth over followed by two consecutive fours.
The fury of both the openers continued valiantly as RCB were 77 for no loss at the end of the powerplay. Devine looked to be geared up to the maximum as her bat seemed to be conversing in the air, once for a four and the next moment for a six. With a blistering six on the fifth ball of the eighth over Devine completed her half century that too off just 20 balls to record. And the cricket lovers couldn’t cheer more than her bat sending three of the ninth over deliveries for three big sixes and one for a mere four.
With Devine ruthless hard-hitting and thumping rage, the match was already pocketed by RCB, but the roller-coaster innings finally saw it’s first wicket down as Mandhana got dismissed by Sneh Rana’s caught-and-bowled delivery in the tenth over. Although the wicket was a big one, but ‘who-cares’ sounded louder for Devine than the fall of the wicket as she retaliated much powerfully with an astonishing six on the very first ball of the eleventh over.
Ellyse Perry was the first down the order and she too chuckled the momentum and cheerfully brought a boundary for herself in the eleventh over but the following over finally saw the end of Devine’s one of the most celebrated knocks ever as she met a heart-breaking dismissal at the most cursed 99, just a run to go for the first ever century of the WPL history. But thanks to Heather Knight and Ellyse Perry who did the formalities of the win efficiently with the same momentum that the openers carried so far and RCB was at par of 188 with 27 balls and eight wickets to spare.