WPL: Delhi Capitals clinch 60-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore

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MUMBAI: Tara Norris, a 24-year-old hailing from Philadelphia sealed the fate of the match in just two overs. In her WPL debut, she took wickets of some renowned batters in the world and became the first player to take a fifer in WPL, to guide Delhi Capitals to a 60-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their campaign opener in Mumbai on Sunday.

Royal Challengers Bangalore opening pair of Smriti Mandhana and Sophie Devine started the enormous chase of 224 with a bang. The RCB skipper unsettled Delhi Capitals bowlers with her ability to score boundaries on a consistent basis.

After having a nightmare with the ball, Sophie Devine started her innings with confidence. She was able to support her captain by keeping the scoreboard ticking. But it all started to go downhill for the RCB team as Alice Capsey took the ball in her hand.

In a span of two overs, Capsey got the wickets of both the openers. Devine departed before the powerplay with a score of 14(11). Shafali Verma caught everyone by surprise as she took a stunning catch.

Even Devine couldn’t believe her eyes. Mandhana managed to survive the powerplay with Ellyse Perry operating as her backup. At the end of the powerplay, RCB was at 54/1, with Mandhana (34*) joined by Ellyse Perry (6*).

Moments after the powerplay ended Mandhana became the second victim of Capsey. RCB skipper went back to the pavilion with a score of 35(23). The rest of the RCB team lost their wickets on a consistent basis.

Tara Norris took a five-wicket haul. Norris took wickets of Ellyse Perry (31) and Disha Kasat (9) in a single over. In her second over she put the final nail in the coffin by picking two consecutive wickets of Richa Ghosh (2), and Kanika Ahuja (0). Her final victim was Heather Kingh (34).

RCB tried to redeem themselves with a valiant knock from Megan Schutt (22) but her efforts went in vain. RCB finished the match with a boundary and their final score was 163/8.

For Delhi Capitals, Shafali Verma and Meg Lanning produced one of the best opening knocks in T20 in women’s cricket history. Even though Royal Challengers Bangalore picked up their wickets in quick succession, Marizanne

Kapp and Jemimah Rodrigues ensured that the run rate didn’t drop. At the end of the powerplay, DC was at 57/0, with Shafali (29*) and Lanning (24*) unbeaten.

In the ninth over, Sobhana Asha was at receiving end of severe punishment, being hit for 22 runs by both of them, with Shafali scoring 17 of these runs herself.

RCB reached the 100-run mark in 9.4 overs. Shafali reached her half-century in just 31 balls. At the end of 10 overs, DC was at 105/0, with Shafali (54*) and Lanning (47*) dominating the RCB bowlers. In the next over, Lanning also brought up her half-century in just 30 balls.

DC reached the 150-run mark in 13.4 overs. Lanning-Shafali continued to torment RCB bowlers till the England skipper Heather Knight stepped up and dismissed both the openers. She broke the 162-run stand for the first wicket between the duo, dismissing Lanning for 72 off 43 balls consisting of 14 boundaries.

Just two balls later, Shafali was dismissed for 84 off 45 balls, consisting of 10 fours and four sixes. DC was 164/2 at the end of 15 overs. Jemimah Rodrigues and South African all-rounder Marizanne Kapp were the fresh pair on the crease, with a responsibility to make sure that their side finished the match well.

Rodrigues and Kapp continued the carnage started by the openers. DC reached the 200-run mark in 18.2 overs, with help of a massive six from Kapp. Kapp and Rodrigues reached the 50-run partnership in just 28 balls.

DC finished their innings at 223/2, with Rodrigues (22*) and Kapp (39*) unbeaten at the crease. Heather Knight was the pick of the bowlers for RCB, with 2/40 in her three overs. The rest of the lineup had an off day at work, with pacer Renuka Singh, Ellyse Perry, and Megan Schutt being expensive and wicketless.

Brief Scores: Tara Norris 5/29, Alice Capsey 2/10, Shafali Verma 84(45) and Meg Lanning 72(43). (ANI)

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