Mandhana, Perry fifties carry RCB to 23-run win over UPW

Royal Challengers Bangalore team celebrating victory against UP Warriorz.
Royal Challengers Bangalore team celebrating victory against UP Warriorz.


Engaging fifties by skipper Smriti Mandhana and star all-rounder Ellyse Perry formed the foundation of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s convincing 23-run win over UP Warriorz in their Women’s Premier League match here on Monday.
Mandhana (80, 50b, 10×4, 3×6) and Perry (58, 37b, 4×4, 4×6) added 95 runs off just 64 balls for the second wicket as Royal Challengers made a formidable 198 for three.
The Warriorz’s chase did not have much to write home about except a fifty (55, 38b, 7×4, 3×6) by captain Alyssa Healy as it ended at 175/8.
This was also the last game of WPL’s Bengaluru leg as the caravan now rolls to New Delhi from Tuesday.
But the visitors made a cracking beginning to their innings scoring 47 in just 4.2 overs as Healy and Kiran Navgire tore into RCB bowlers after a first-over maiden by pacer Renuka Singh.
Healy moussed two sixes off pacer Sophie Devine in the second over to start the run glut, and then hammered Renuka for 24 runs in the next over as Navgire also took part in the fun with a four and six.
But Devine ended that partnership when she ousted Navgire and her dismissal cooled down the run-collection rate.
The ever-mounting asking rate forced the UP batters to go after big shots as they lost Chamari Athapathuthu (8), in-form Grace Harris (5) and Shweta Sehrawat (1) while adding 26 runs between the seventh and 10th over.
At 90 for four after 10 overs, the burden of taking the UP outfit past the target was entirely on Healy and she tried gamely with a 34-ball fifty.
But left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux curtailed her stint as Healy failed to connect a tossed-up ball on middle and leg and Richa Ghosh did the rest behind the stumps.
Deepti Sharma (33, 22b) Poonam Khemnar (31, 24b) added 41 runs for the sixth wicket but they had one too many runs to scale down.
Earlier, looking to get out of a two-match losing streak, RCB promoted S Meghana as opener in place of Devine and the move paid off.
Meghana and Mandhana added 51 runs in 5.3 overs to give RCB a strong platform and the hosts ended the Power Play at 57 for 1, their best in WPL 2.
Mandhana and Perry optimised that start as the UP bowlers wilted under double barrel firing.
The left-hander’s timing was stunning as she played shots all around the park and treated spinners with disdain. It will give her a lot of confidence as she often tends to get stuck against the tweakers.
Mandhana, who was dropped on 28, was particularly severe on off-spinner Athapathuthu and left-arm pacer Anjali Sarvani, whom she carted for a slew of fours and sixes. (PTI)