Delhi Capitals will have to wait a little longer to seal their place in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) playoffs as Gujarat Giants bounced back from a crushing defeat to beat Delhi by 11 runs in a thrilling encounter. Battling to stay in the playoff race of the tournament, Sneh Rana captained Gujarat did not give up till the end in a tough and up and down match and registered their second win of the tournament. The star of Gujarat’s victory proved to be its world champion all-rounder Ashley Gardner, who produced her best performance in the WPL first with the bat and then with the ball.
Gujarat batted first in the 14th match of WPL on Thursday 16 March and set a target of 148 runs against Delhi. In response to this, the Delhi team could not even play the entire 20 overs and collapsed on just 136 runs. This is Delhi’s second defeat in 6 matches and they are still second in the points table.
Delhi captain Meg Lanning won the toss and chose to bowl first and in the very first over, Marizanne Kapp made a brilliant start by returning opener Sophia Dunkley to the pavilion.
Laura Wolvaardt and Harleen Deol (31) put on a partnership of 49 runs but its pace was very slow and by the 10th over the score was only 53 runs for 2 wickets.
Australia’s Ashley Gardner, who was selected as the player of the tournament of the T20 World Cup last month, scored an unbeaten 51 runs in just 33 balls while playing her best innings in the WPL. She hit many powerful shots, particularly on the leg side . At the same time, Wolvaardt (57 runs, 45 balls) also picked up her pace later and shared 81 runs with Gardner.
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Gujarat finally scrapped hard and reached a total of 147 ,which was a moderate score on this pitch which was sluggish .
Delhi lost the wicket of Shefali Verma in the second over bowled by Kanwer off her leg but Alice Capsey (22) along with captain Meg Lanning (18) brought the score to 48 runs by the sixth over. Capsey hit 2 big sixes and was looking ominous at 22 off 11 balls . However Capsey, Lanning and Jemima Rodriguez were out in the sixth and seventh overs. Lanning was lbw to Sneh Rana after hitting the previous ball for 4 and Capsey was unfortunately runout in a cruel mixup with Jemima who snicked to keeper Verma off Kim Garth for 1 .
Marizanne Kapp (36) took over the innings and kept the team score going but wickets kept falling at the other end. Jonnasen (4) played a poor shot under the circumstances and three away her wicket to par timer Harleen Deol . By 14.3 overs the score was only 100 runs and 8 wickets had fallen.
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Then Arundhati Reddy (25) played a blistering innings and took the team to 135 runs by the 18th over, but she was dismissed on the last ball of Kim Garth’s over ,caught at short extra cover . Then the last wicket of Poonam Yadav fell in the next over. For Gujarat, player of the match Gardner took 2 wickets for just 19 runs in 3.4 overs with Kim Garth took 2/18 .
At many stages in their innings Delhi appeared to be cruising nicely and never had any problem with the asking rate but they chose to play the wrong shot at important stages when the requirement was to play less risk cricket . Delhi Capitals would have won the game had they played their full 20 overs .
As for Gujarat Giants, this win is priceless for them as they have moved to 4th spot with a big chance to try for a playoffs spot .
Both Gujarat Giants and RCB would like to see UP Warriorz losing both their games .