RCB Star Becomes First Indian To Script This WPL Feat, Joins Elite List. Watch

Authoritative fifties by Richa Ghosh and S Meghana were well-supported by crafty leg-spinner Sobhana Asha as Royal Challengers Bangalore celebrated their first home WPL match with a fighting two-run win over UP Warriorz in Bengaluru on Saturday. Richa (62, 37b, 12×4) and Meghana (53, 44b, 7×4, 1×6) pushed Royal Challengers to a par 157 for six on a slightly tacky pitch as they added 71 runs for the fourth wicket in 50 balls.

Grace Harris (38, 23b, 4×4, 2×6) and Shewta Sehrawat (31, 25b, 2×4, 1×6) milked 77 runs in 44 balls for the fourth wicket but UP could not survive a five-wicket haul by leg-spinner Sobhana Asha (5/22), ending up at 155 for seven.

The Warriorz were well on course for a win at 116 for three in the 15th over, but Sobhana’s three-wicket burst in the 17th over changed the complexion of the game.

She jettisoned Harris, Sehrawat and Kiran Navgire in that over to break UP’s hopes by a thin margin.

The Warriorz chase got off to a rather sedate start after losing skipper Alyssa Healy in the second over itself.

Left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux produced a ripper to get rid of Healy. The ball pitched around middle and off line, before straightening to clip the bails off past the tentative prod of the UP opener.

Vrinda Dinesh and Tahlia McGrath added 38 runs for the second wicket but they also consumed 7.4 overs for it, struggling to pull out big shots on a slow deck.

But Sobhana struck heavy blows in the 9th over, dismissing both Vrinda and McGrath.

Vrinda, who laboured to a 28-ball 18, tried to step down and hoick Sobhana but missed the ball as stumper Richa did the rest.

Sobhana ousted McGrath two balls later when the Aussie batter’s attempt to slog sweep saw the ball rearranging her stumps.

For the record, Sobhana is the first Indian to take a five-wicket haul in the WPL.

List of players with five-wicket hauls in WPL

Marizanne Kapp 5 for 15 for DC vs Gujarat Giants in 2023

Tara Norris – 5 for 29 for DC vs RCB in 2023

Kim Garth – 5 for 36 for Gujarat Giants vs UP Warriorz in 2023

Sobhana Asha – 5 for 22 for RCB vs UP Warriorz in 2024

Earlier, RCB batters hobbled to a total that proved just enough on the night.

The RCB were tottering at 54 for three in 7.5 overs after being asked to bat first.

Sensing the situation, Meghana and Richa took their time to settle into their partnership, but once they got their eyes in, the RCB pair did not look back.

Meghana, who was dropped on 20 and 22, made full use of those let-offs to play some stunning shots around the ground.

Her thumping loft over extra cover for a six off left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad was good enough to watch in loop.

She reached her fifty in 40 balls, and Richa, who hammered pacer Saima Thakor for 16 runs in the 14th over, reached her own mark soon off 31 balls with a four off Tahlia McGrath.

The partnership was broken when Gayakwad had Meghana stumped by Alyssa Healy.

But before that steady stand, RCB skipper Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Devine and Ellyse Perry struggled to come to terms with the sluggishness of the track, perishing in their attempt to force the pace.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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