WPL 2023 RCB first win of the tournament
The Women’s Premier League continued to heat up as Royal Challengers Bangalore took on UP Warriorz in the 13th match of the tournament on March 15, 2023, at the DY Patil Stadium. After suffering defeats in their previous five matches, the Royal Challengers were eager to record their first victory in the tournament and keep their slim hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages alive. The match turned out to be an enthralling encounter, with Kanika Ahuja, a 20-year-old uncapped Indian cricketer, playing a crucial role in the Royal Challengers’ triumph.
The Royal Challengers won the toss and elected to bowl first, hoping to restrict the UP Warriorz to a low total and chase it down later. Captain Smriti Mandhana, who had been struggling for form in the tournament, entrusted the new ball to Sophie Devine, one of the most experienced all-rounders in T20I cricket. Devine, who had only bowled two overs in the tournament before this match, repaid her captain’s faith by taking two wickets in the first over itself. She dismissed both openers, Devika Vaidya and Alyssa Healy, to give the Royal Challengers the perfect start.
Megan Schutt then struck in the second over to dismiss Tahlia McGrath, leaving the UP Warriorz reeling at 0 for 3. The Royal Challengers were buoyed by the early wickets and continued to put pressure on the opposition batsmen. They didn’t let the UP Warriorz build any partnerships, and at the halfway mark, the opposition was struggling at 43 for 5.
UP warriorz fought back | WPL 2023 RCB first win of the tournament
However, the UP Warriorz fought back, with Sune Luus and Nicola Carey putting on a 50-run stand for the sixth wicket. Luus played a vital knock of 46 off 33 balls, which included five fours and two sixes. At one stage, it looked like the UP Warriorz might post a challenging total, but the Royal Challengers’ bowlers pulled things back with some excellent bowling in the death overs. Ellyse Perry, who had been taken off after her first two overs, came back to take three wickets in her next two overs and restrict the UP Warriorz to a below-par total of 135.
The Royal Challengers got off to a poor start in their chase, losing both their openers within the first two overs. Mandhana, who had been dismissed by off-spinners in her previous three innings, fell to Shikha Pandey for just one. The Royal Challengers were in trouble at 9 for 2, but Perry and Knight tried to steady the ship. However, they both played avoidable shots and got out cheaply, leaving the Royal Challengers in a precarious position at 60 for 4 after nine overs.
It was at this point that Kanika Ahuja played a crucial innings that turned the match in the Royal Challengers’ favor. Ahuja, who had not played in the tournament before this match, showed no nerves and played some attacking strokes to keep the scoreboard ticking. She was particularly severe on the spinners, hitting them for three sixes and three fours.
Ahuja built a match-winning partnership of 60 runs with Richa Ghosh, who played a supporting role with an unbeaten 31 off 32 balls. Ahuja was dismissed for 46 off 30 balls, but by then, the Royal Challengers were well on their way to victory. They eventually won the match by five wickets with two overs to spare.
The win was a much-needed boost for the Royal Challengers, who had been struggling for form in the tournament. Ahuja’s innings was the standout performance of the match, and she deserved
WPL 2023 RCB first win of the tournament with victory against UP WARRIORZ Women
In conclusion, the Women’s Premier League match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and UP Warriorz was a crucial one for RCB, as they were still mathematically alive in the competition and needed a win to stay in contention for the knockouts. Kanika Ahuja’s explosive innings of 46 off 30 balls, along with Richa Ghosh’s unbeaten 31, helped RCB chase down the target of 136 with five wickets in hand and two overs to spare.
The bowlers, led by Ellyse Perry, also played a crucial role in restricting UP Warriorz to a below-par score of 135. With this win, RCB keeps their slim hopes alive in the Women’s Premier League, and they will have to win their remaining matches to qualify for the knockouts.