Lightning struck twice for Gujarat Giants on Saturday night.
First there was a brilliant spell of seam bowling from Marizanne Kapp that broke its batting. And then Shafali Verma launched a stunning assault with the bat that left the Giants fielders, and the excellent crowd at the D.Y. Patil Stadium, dazed.
Shafali’s blitzkrieg (76 not out, 28b, 10×4, 5×6) meant Delhi Capitals went past Giants’ total of 105 with 10 wickets and 12.5 overs to spare.
All Shafali’s captain Meg Lanning had to do was relax and enjoy a spectacular display of batting, which was a potent mix of sweetly timed shots all along the ground and some audacious aerial shots that travelled quite a distance.
Shafali had come to the WPL badly in need of big scores. With her second fifty of the tournament, she seems to be back at her very best.
Earlier, in picking their XI, Giants had done a UP Warriorz by leaving out Sophia Dunkley, the architect of their victory in the last match (versus Royal Challengers Bangalore).
On a fresh wicket, Kapp bowled her four overs unchanged to finish with five for 15. By the time her spell ended, the contest was virtually over. After struggling a bit with her bowling early on in the tournament, she found the right length and got the ball to move in menacingly.
With her second ball of the match, Kapp yorked S. Meghana. In her second over, she cleaned up Laura Wolvaardt and off the next ball, she trapped Ashleigh Gardner in front. Giants limped to 105 for nine — quite an improvement from 33 for six shortly after the PowerPlay.
That was largely to a couple of knocks down the order from Georgia Wareham (22, 25b, 2×4) and Kim Garth (32 not out, 37b, 3×4). Giants could not really recover from the early blows and if that wasn’t enough, Shafali delivered the killer blow.