WPL 2023: Gujarat Giants hold their nerve to register 11-run win over Delhi Capitals

The Gujarat Giants managed to hold their nerve to get back to winning ways by registering an 11-run win over Delhi Capitals in match 14 of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) at the Brabourne Stadium on Thursday.

After scintillating fifties from Laura Wolvaardt and Ashleigh Gardner took Gujarat to 147/4 in 20 overs, the bowlers did well, and coupled with mistakes from Delhi’s batters, were able to reduce them to 100/8 by the 15th over.

But Arundhati Reddy gave Gujarat an almighty scare with her 17-ball 25 and shared a partnership of 35 off 21 balls with Shikha Pandey. But with her falling in the 18th over meant Gujarat eventually finished on the right side of the result and pushed Royal Challengers Bangalore to the bottom of the points table.

After captain Meg Lanning survived a pretty close on the very first ball off Kim Garth, Shafali Verma got going by lofting Tanuja Kanwar over long-on for six. But the left-arm spinner had the last laugh three balls later, as Shafali was bowled off a deflection from her left boot.

Alice Capsey injected momentum in the chase by ramping against Tanuja and then unfurling a powerful cover drive off Kim Garth to collect two quick boundaries. Meg broke her shackles with a brace of fours off Tanuja — a chipped drive over mid-off was followed by a sweep through square leg.

Alice then went big against Ashleigh, hitting the off-spinner for sixes over deep mid-wicket and long-off. After slamming Sneh Rana through deep mid-wicket for four, Meg went for a sweep against a straighter delivery from the off-spinner and was trapped lbw in the last over of power-play.

Three balls later, a bad mix-up in the middle as Jemimah Rodrigues made a poor call for the run and Alice was run-out at the striker’s end. In the next over, Jemimah tried to steer Kim Garth through the third man but nicked behind to keeper Sushma Verma.

Marizanne Kapp kept Delhi in the hunt by taking two leg-side fours off Mansi Joshi before cutting off Sneh at the halfway mark. She then drove against Harleen Deol, before slog-sweeping off the all-rounder for six.

But she was losing support from the other end as Jess Jonassen holed out to long-off against Harleen, and Taniyaa Bhatia was bowled off Ashleigh. Two balls later, a direct hit from Tanuja caught Marizanne short of her crease, departing for 36.

After Radha Yadav nicked behind off Tanuja in the 15th over, it felt all over for Delhi till Arundhati brought out her shots. A chip off Tanuja over infield was followed by slamming another four over Harleen’s head. A pull off Sneh was followed by a punch through cover off Kim to collect two more boundaries.

Arundhati’s cameo came to an end when she chipped straight to extra cover off Kim in the 18th over. In the next over, Poonam Yadav chipped straight to mid-wicket, giving Gujarat their second win of the competition.

Earlier, pushed into batting first, Laura and Ashleigh were involved in a crucial 81-run partnership off 53 balls for the third wicket. The duo ensured Gujarat did not suffer a batting collapse on a pitch which offered some help to the spinners.

Electing to bowl first, Delhi had early success as Sophia Dunkley mistimed the loft to mid-on off Marizanne in the opening over. Harleen and Laura took a boundary each off Radha and Marizanne respectively.

Harleen was the more aggressive of the two, sweeping and cutting off-spinners with ease while dancing down the pitch to drive a half-volley from Arundhati through mid-on. But her knock came to an end in the tenth over when she tried to cut off Jess and nicked behind Taniyaa.

Taniyaa instantly urged Meg to take the review, which showed a clear spike and prompted the umpire to reverse the decision. Ashleigh almost chopped one off Marizanne, but the ball beat Taniyaa to get a boundary.

After surviving an lbw review, Ashleigh played some terrific shots — thumping Shikha over cover, before opening her bat face late to cut through backward point for back-to-back boundaries.

When Radha was brought back into the attack, Ashleigh danced down the pitch to smash a full toss over deep mid-wicket for four. She was given out lbw on the very next ball, but she took the review, which showed an inside edge.

Ashleigh and Laura took a four each off Marizanne before the latter lofted Jess for six over long-off. She followed it up by hitting a brace of fours to reach her fifty in the 17th over. While Laura smashed a four down the ground off Shikha, Ashleigh took back-to-back fours off Arundhati through the leg side.

Laura had to depart for 57 when she tried to heave a yorker from Arundhati and the ball deflected off the pads to hit the stumps in the 19th over. Ashleigh slammed a brace of fours through mid-wicket off Jess in the final over to get her fifty despite Dayalan Hemalatha falling on the last ball of the innings.

Brief scores:

Gujarat Giants 147/4 in 20 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 57, Ashleigh Gardner 51 not out; Jess Jonassen 2-38, Marizanne Kapp 1-24) beat Delhi Capitals 136 all out in 18.4 overs (Marizanne Kapp 36, Arundhati Reddy 25; Kim Garth 2-18, Tanuja Kanwar 2-19) by 11 runs

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