Devine’s aggressive 99 runs RCB beat Gujarat Giants

New Zealand’s Sophie Devine scored a 36-ball 99 as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Gujarat Giants by eight wickets in their Women’s Premier League match on Saturday. Devine produced a display of fiery batting that every spectator sitting at Brabourne Stadium would remember for years. RCB achieved a difficult target of 189 runs with 27 balls to spare, losing just two wickets and kept their playoff hopes alive with their second consecutive win. Devine, who also played hockey for New Zealand before becoming a cricketer, hit eight sixes and nine fours in her innings.

Earlier, South African star batsman Laura Wolvaardt scored 68 runs in 42 balls and Gujarat Giants scored 188 runs for four wickets with the help of 22 runs in the last over. Ashley Gardner also played an innings of 41 runs in 26 balls. Harleen Deol (12 not out) and D Hemlata (16 not out) smashed Megan Schutt for two sixes and two fours to score 22 runs in the last over. In response, RCB batted aggressively from the very first over. Captain Smriti Mandhana (37) and Devine scored runs at a brisk pace. Devine hit spinner Tanuja Kanwar Kase over mid-wicket for a six that went 94 metres.

RCB’s score was 125 for no loss in the ninth over. Mandhana was dismissed after scoring 37 runs in 31 balls. Devine’s run-scoring continued from the other end but unfortunately she fell one run short of her century. Kim Garth got him out for 99 but by then RCB’s victory was sealed. Earlier, Gujarat captain Sneh Rana won the toss and decided to bat. Sophia Dunkley and Wolvaardt both started on a positive note hitting two fours each in the first two overs.

Devine bowled Dunkley in the third over to give Gujarat the first blow. From the other end, however, Wolvaardt continued to score runs and hit two more fours to take the team’s score to 40 in the fifth over. Ellyse Perry conceded just one run from the first five balls of the first over but then missed a four. Leg-spinner Asha Shobhana also bowled an economical first over, conceding only five runs. S Meghna took time to settle but hit Preeti Bose for her first boundary in the eighth over.

Bose broke the 63-run partnership between Meghna and Wolvaardt when Richa Ghosh stumped Meghna. Ashley Gardner came in and hit Asha for a six over long-on. At the other end, Wolvaardt completed his half-century in 35 balls. He touched this figure by hitting Perry for a six over midwicket. After this, he hit a six and a four in the shot. Shreyanka Patil ended her innings by getting Bose caught at short midwicket. Patil also sent Gardner to the pavilion.

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