Smriti Mandhana (80, 50b, 10×4, 3×6) instilled trophy hopes in the faithful supporters with an astonishing knock that helped the Royal Challengers Bangalore finish the home leg on a high.

On Monday night, after posting Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024’s highest total of 198 for three, RCB handed UP Warriorz a 23-run loss at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here.

In reply, UPW openers Alyssa Healy and Kiran Navgire scored 46 in the first four overs before the latter miscued a lofted shot and was caught by Georgia Wareham off Sophie Devine. Sophie Molineux then trapped Chamari Athapaththu to give RCB the second wicket in a contentious DRS review.

RCB vs UPW, WPL highlights

Soon, Devine sent Grace Harris packing, and the Warriorz chase appeared derailed; but Healy’s grit remained a last hurdle for RCB.

It was Molineux who got Healy stumped on 55 before Deepti Sharma and Poonam Khemnar added 41 for the sixth wicket.

Warriorz’ decision to chase eventually backfired after it only managed 175 for eight.

Earlier, the league witnessed its first Indian opening duo with S. Meghana pairing up with Mandhana, with out-of-form Devine demoted down the order.

Meghana took full advantage of the opportunity and struck five boundaries during her quickfire 28 off 21. When Anjali Saravi dismissed her, RCB had already gone past fifty inside the PowerPlay.

Mandhana pulled out scoops and cuts from her arsenal, fully utilising the behind-square boundaries. Her shot selection and impeccable timing stunned the Warriorz as she reached a half-century in the 13th over.

As if nothing else could stop Mandhana tonight, the two dropped catches only made matters worse for UPW. Deepti finally broke her 95-run stand with Ellyse Perry (58, 37b, 4×4, 4×6) after she holed out to Khemnar.

Perry held centre stage once Smriti departed. Her blazing knock ensured the decibel levels always remained high.


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