Royal Challengers Bangalore looked the team to beat after the auction. Delhi Capitals on Sunday afternoon showed how.
A capital performance with the bat at the top of the order followed by a fine effort with the ball helped Delhi win the second match of the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League by 60 runs on a hot, humid Sunday afternoon at the Brabourne Stadium. An excellent crowd was treated to a superlative display of stroke-play by the Capital openers Meg Lanning (72, 43b, 14×4) and Shafali Verma (84, 45b, 10×4, 4×6) as DC motored along to 223 for two.
Skipper Lanning, fresh from leading Australia to another T20 World Cup victory only a week ago, and her teenaged partner Indian Shafali indicated that theirs could be one of the most formidable opening partnerships of the competition.
Shafali went for the big shots whenever she could, hitting some clean sixes, while Lanning showed her class with some superbly timed shots, including a couple of back-to-back fours off Sophie Devine square of the wicket on the off.
Shafali was the first to reach her 50 off 31 balls, Lanning’s too came off 31. Hundred was up in 9.4 overs.
The breakthrough for RCB would come only nearly four overs later. That was provided by the England captain Heather Knight’s off spin.
She removed both the openers within the space of three balls. If the RBC women heaved a collective sigh of relief, Marizanne Kapp made them feel desperately helpless yet again, as the South African smashed an unbeaten 39 off just 17 balls (3×4, 3×6).
RCB’s reply was never really on track as it finished its innings at 168 for eight in its allotted 20 overs. Capitals bowled well, none as well as Tara Norris, the American left-arm seamer who lived a dream. She took five for 29. “I wanted to make all the Associate nations proud,” she had told The Hindu a few days ago.
The scores: Delhi Capitals: Meg Lanning b Knight 72 (43b, 14×4), Shafali Verma c Richa b Knight 84 (45b, 10×4, 4×6), Marizanne Kapp (not out) 39 (17b, 3×4, 3×6), Jemimah Rodrigues (not out) 22 (15b, 3×4); Extras (lb-1, w-5): 6; Total (for two wkts. in 20 overs): 223.
Fall of wickets: 1-162 (Lanning, 14.3 overs), 2-163 (Shafali, 14.5).
RCB bowling: Renuka 3-0-24-0, Schutt 4-0-45-0, Preeti 4-0-35-0, Perry 3-0-29-0, Devine 1-0-20-0, Asha 2-0-29-0, Knight 3-0-40-2.
Royal Challengers: Smriti Mandhana c Shikha b Capsey 35 (23b, 5×4, 1×6), Sophie Devine c Shafali b Capsey 14 (11b, 3×4), Ellyse Perry b Norris 31 (19b, 5×4), Disha Kasat c Capsey b Norris 9 (11b, 1×4), Richa Ghosh c Radha b Norris 2 (4b), Heather Knight c Lanning b Norris 34 (21b, 2×4, 2×6), Kanika Ahuja c Shafali b Norris 0 (1b), Sobhana Asha c Radha b Shikha 2 (3b), Megan Schutt (not out) 30 (19b, 5×4), Preeti Bose (not out) 2 (8b); Extras (lb-1, w-3): 4; Total (for eight wkts. in 20 overs): 163.
Fall of wickets: 1-41 (Devine, 4.2), 2-56 (Smriti, 6.3), 3-89 (Perry, 10.3), 4-90 (Disha, 10.5), 5-93 (Richa, 12.2), 6-93 (Kanika, 12.3), 7-96 (Asha, 13.1), 8-150 (Knight, 17.5).
Capitals bowling: Shikha 4-0-35-1 , Kapp 4-0-36-0, Jonassen 4-0-28-0, Capsey 2-0-10-2, Radha 2-0-24-0, Norris 4-0-29-5.
Delhi Capitals won by 60 runs.