Cricket

Royal Challengers Bangalore Vs UP Warriorz, WPL 2024: Asha Sobhana's Fifer Architects RCB Win

Defending 11 runs in the final over, Australian spinner Sophie Molineux gave away just eight runs to take the Royal Challengers Bangalore over the line in the Women's Premier League 2024 clash. But the win was set up by leggie Asha Sobhana, who broke the back of UP Warriorz's batting

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PTI
Asha Sobhana celebrates the wicket of Vrinda Dinesh during the Royal Challengers Bangalore vs UP Warriorz match in the Women's Premier League 2024 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday, February 24. Photo: PTI
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A day after Sajeevan Sajana's last-ball six heroics in the Women's Premier League 2024 season-opener, it was the turn of another Kerala all-rounder to come to the party in a tense encounter. Asha Sobhana made the most of a spin-friendly surface in Bengaluru to conjure a magnificent fifer that led the Royal Challengers Bangalore to a thrilling two-run victory at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday, February 24, 2024. (Full Coverage | Schedule And Points Table)

Chasing a target of 158 runs, UP Warriorz seemed to be well on course when Asha brought the hosts right back into the contest. With her magical figures of 4-22-5, the 32-year-old leg-spinner not only stung the UP middle-order but also stifled the scoring rate to swing the game Bangalore's way.

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Her scalps included the much-vaunted Dinesh Vrinda and overseas stars Tahlia McGrath and Grace Harris. By the time Asha completed her quota, the Warriorz were six down for 128 and still needed 30 runs at 10 an over. But Pooja Khemnar and Deepti Sharma then combined to hit some lusty blows and make the equation even more interesting.

Aussie left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux had the ball in hand for the last over, with 11 runs to defend. And despite getting hit for a boundary, the spin bowler held her nerve and did the job with elan, giving away just eight runs to seal a dramatic win for the home team.

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Earlier, timely half-centuries by Richa Ghosh and Sabbhineni Meghana propelled Royal Challengers Bangalore to a decent total of 157 for six on what came across as a somewhat sticky surface.

Richa (62 runs off 37 balls) and Meghana (53 runs off 44 balls) compiled 71 runs for the fourth wicket in 50 balls as Bangalore bounced back from a wobbly 54 for three in 7.5 overs after being invited to bat first by UP Warriorz skipper Alyssa Healy.

Aware of the need to rebuild, Meghana and Richa took their time to get into the groove, but once they had a feel of the wicket, the RCB duo did not falter.

Meghana capitalized on two dropped chances - when she was on 20 and 22 - and played some fabulous strokes all around the ground. Her majestic lofted drive over extra cover for a sixer off left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad made for aesthetically pleasing viewing.

She got to her half-century in 40 balls, and Richa, who slammed seamer Saima Thakor for 16 runs in the 14th over, got to her own fifty-run mark soon after off 31 balls, with a boundary against Tahlia McGrath.

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