Ahuja Defies Deepti Sharma as RCB Claim First Win Despite Early Jitters
Ahuja plays a shot against UPW (Twitter/WPL)
The Royal Challengers Bangalore snapped their losing streak by registering their opening WPL 2023 points with a win over UP Warriorz. Australian import Ellyse Perry headlined her side’s bowling act by snaring a three-fer, before Kanika Ahuja’s calculated batting recital earned RCB the run-chase with two overs still intact in the game.
Harris, Sharma lifts UP Warriorz after Devine’s early strikes
UP Warriorz skipper Alyssa Healy was dismissed for a run in an eventful opening over by Sophie Devine, which also witnessed Devika Vaidya’s walk back to the pavilion without a score. Tahlia McGrath was also dismissed cheaply, albeit by Megan Schutt as the UP Warriorz were reduced to 3-5 within the first two overs of the match.
Grace Harris and Deepti Sharma formed forces at 31-5 and extended the team total till 100 through calculated counterattacking aggression. Harris herself scored 46 to top-score for her side, before they were jolted by Ellyse Perry with a three-fer just at a time they were settling to put up a competitive score.
The UP Warriorz were eventually dusted out for just 135 as they failed to last their 20 overs.
Ahuja, Ghosh overcome jitters to slam first WPL win for RCB
Devine, who struck twice with the ball in the first over of the match, clubbed two boundaries and a six to accumulate 14 of the opening over of RCB’s run-chase. However, the cricketer’s contribution with the bat concluded immediately afterwards as she was holed out by Tahlia McGrath off her attempted slog sweep.
Captain Smriti Mandhana registered another batting failure as she was sent back to the pavilion for a duck by Warriorz and Indian veteran Deepti Sharma. Sharma snared another victim a while later to reduce RCB to 60-4 by the end of the ninth over.
Just when past demons threatened to haunt the red and black again, Kanika Ahuja and wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh formed a 60-run stand to double-up the RCB score to 120. Ahuja hit 46 while Ghosh listed an unbeaten 31 as they snapped their winless WPL 2023 run with much time to spare.
UP Women: 135 (19.3)
Grace Harris 46 (32), Deepti Sharma 22 (19)
Ellyse Perry 3-16, Sophie Devine 2-23
RCB Women: 136-5 (18)
Kanika Ahuja 46 (30), Richa Ghosh 31* (32)
Deepti Sharma 2-26, Devika Vaidya 1-19
RCB Women won by five wickets