WPL Eliminator: Perry’s fighting fifty takes RCB to 135/6 against MI

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NEW DELHI: A fighting half-century from Australian star Ellyse Perry took Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to 135/6 after the loss of some early wickets in their Women’s Premier League (WPL) eliminator match against Mumbai Indians (MI) at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium on Thursday.

RCB needs to defend 135 runs to reach the finals.

Electing to bat first, Royal Challengers Bangalore started well with openers Smriti Mandhana and Sophie Devine displaying attacking intent from first over, smashing pacer Shabnim Ismail for three fours.

However, the Red and Gold team met with resistance with Hayley Matthews cleaning up Devine’s off-stump for just 10. Later, Smriti was caught by Ismail at deep cover for just 10 runs, with Nat-Sciver Brunt getting the wicket. Disha Kasat was also dismissed by Saika Ishaque, with Pooja Vastrakar taking a catch. RCB was 23/3 in 3.4 overs.

Ellyse Perry and Richa Ghosh, both in-form batters, had to rebuild for RCB.  RCB ended the powerplay in six overs at the score of 34/3, with both batters unbeaten at six each.

Just when both were looking to have settled down, Sciver took a skier to dismiss Richa for a 19-ball 14-run knock, giving Hayley her second wicket. RCB was 49/4 in 9.1 overs.

Halfway through, RCB was 51/4, with Perry (14*) and Sophie Molineux (1*) unbeaten. Perry was showing calculated aggression from one end and Sophie held the other end steady.

The partnership between these two batters was cut short after Nat got her second wicket and clean-bowled Sophie for 11 in 17 balls. RCB was 84/5 in 15 overs.

RCB reached the 100-run mark in 16.4 overs. Perry punished Ismail in the 17th over, hitting her for two fours. The Australian star reached her second fifty of the tournament in 40 balls, with five fours and a six.

Georgia Wareham and Perry put on a solid partnership. Perry was caught by Nat Sciver for 66 in 50 balls, with eight fours and a six. RCB was 126/6 in 19.2 overs.

RCB ended things on a high, with Wareham smashing a crackling six on the final ball. RCB ended their innings at 135/6, with Wareham (18* in 10 balls, with a four and six) and Shreyanka Patil (3*) unbeaten. The team managed to score 51 runs in the final five overs.

Hayley and Sciver (2/18 each in four overs) and Ishaque (2/27) were among the wickets for MI. (ANI)

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