Sobhana Asha Fifer helps RCB clinch a thriller against UP Warriorz

Twin half-centuries by Sabbhineni Meghana, and Richa Ghosh, followed by Sobhana Asha fifer powers RCB to a good start in front of their home crowd.

Shobana Asha Fifer helps RCB clinch a thriller against UP Warriorz. PC: ESPN
Sobhana Asha Fifer helps RCB clinch a thriller against UP Warriorz. PC: ESPN

The 2nd edition of the tournament kickstarted with a bang as we witnessed an edge-of-the-seat thriller filled with blockbuster action, drama, anticipation, you name it and it had it all when these two sides came up against each other in what was a repeat of the final in the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League.

A new hero emerged in the form of Sajeevan Sajana, hailing from Wayanad, Kerela hogged all the limelight courtesy of her admirable mental skills on display. The way she managed to hold her nerve and keep a calm head under immense pressure, walking out to bat on the penultimate ball of the innings with her side needing 5 runs off the last ball. However, she was unfazed by the situation and shimmied down the track to smash the ball nonchalantly over the ropes to take the defending champions over the line.

The UP Warriorz were all set to face RCB in the 2nd game of the season. The UP Warriorz skipper Alyssa Healy won the toss and opted to field first. After being inserted to bat first, the Royal Challengers Bangalore got off to a poor start, losing Sophie Devine in the third over of the innings. Grace Harris provided the first breakthrough for the UP Warriorz. Sabbhineni Meghana joined skipper Smriti Mandhana at the crease and the duo stitched a 23-run partnership for the 2nd wicket before Tahlia McGrath picked up the big wicket of the opposition skipper Smriti Mandhana to provide the 2nd breakthrough for her side.

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Ellyse Perry soon followed her back to the pavilion to provide the 3rd breakthrough for the UP Warriorz. Wicket-keeper batter Richa Ghosh joined Sabbhineni Meghana at the crease and the duo stitched a crucial 67-run partnership for the 4th wicket before Rajeshwari Gayakwad provided the much-needed breakthrough by dismissing Sabbhineni Meghana to limit the damage.

RCB eventually ended up with a total of 157/6 in their quota of overs. Wicket-keeper batter Richa Ghosh (62 off 37 balls) and Sabbhineni Meghana (53 off 44 balls) were the top performers with the bat for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/24) and Sophie Ecclestone (1/26) were the top performers with the ball for UP Warriorz.

Chasing a target of 158, the UP Warriorz got off to a poor start, losing the wicket of their skipper Alyssa Healy in the 2nd over of the innings. Sophie Molineux provided a massive breakthrough for RCB. Tahlia McGrath joined Vrinda Dinesh at the crease and the duo led the recovery with a crucial 38-run partnership for the 2nd wicket before Sobhana Asha struck twice in the 9th over of the run chase to bring Royal Challengers Bangalore back in the contest.

At 49/3 Shweta Sehrawat joined Grace Harris at the crease and the duo stitched another crucial 77-run partnership for the 4th wicket before Sobhana Asha came back and struck thrice in the 17th over of the run chase to bring her side back in the contest. Deepti Sharma joined Poonam Khemnar at the crease and the duo stitched a 19-run partnership for the 7th wicket before Georgia Wareham cleaned up Poonam Khemnar to provide the 7th breakthrough for RCB.

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The UP Warriorz eventually fell agonizingly short of the target by 2 runs as they were restricted to 155/7 in their quota of overs. Grace Harris (38 off 23 balls), Shweta Sehrawat (31 off 25 balls), and Tahlia McGrath (22 off 18 balls) were the top performers with the bat for the UP Warriorz. Sobhana Asha (5/22) picked up the 1st five-wicket haul of the season, she was also the top performer with the ball for RCB.

Sobhana Asha was awarded the Player of the Match for her exceptional, match-winning spell (5/22) with the ball, playing a crucial role in helping her side clinch an edge-of-the-seat contest against the UP Warriorz.

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