Ellyse Perry (67 not out) and Richa Ghosh (37) lifted Royal Challengers Bangalore to a competitive 150/4 against Delhi Capitals in the Women's Premier League in Navi Mumbai on Monday. (More Cricket News)
While Perry held the RCB together with a resolute knock in an innings wherein runs did not come easy, Ghosh provided late fireworks to help her side set a target that might prove tricky to chase.
Perry, who was given a lifeline by Shikha Pandey in the 15th over when she was on 29, finished at 67 not out from 52 balls with four fours and five sixes, recording her second fifty on the trot.
Ghosh struck a valuable 37 from 16 balls with three fours and as many sixes to register her highest score in the competition.
The two right-handed batters Perry and Ghosh added crucial punch with a 74-run stand for the fourth wicket from just 34 balls, after Delhi Capitals bowlers had kept a tight leash for most of the first half.
The RCB batters found it tough to get runs for the majority of their innings, with plenty of their strokes finding fielders and Delhi Capitals bowlers also maintaining probing line and lengths.
By the end of the 14th over, RCB had managed a mere 68 for three. However, in the last six overs, they added 82 runs to finish on a high, raising hopes of their maiden win in WPL.
The change of venue — RCB had played and lost all four matches so far at the Brabourne Stadium – did not seem to have worked well for the Smriti Mandhana-led side for the majority of the first half.
Marizanne Kapp got the new ball to nip around a bit like she had done against Gujarat Giants. The right-arm South African bowler began with a maiden over against the struggling RCB captain Smriti Mandhana, whose poor run with the bat continued for the fifth game in a row.
In a must-win contest for her side, Mandhana (eight off 15 balls) began slowly but fell on her first attempt to attack, finding Jemimah Rodrigues at deep square leg off Shikha Pandey.
Sophie Devine and Ellyse Perry failed to find momentum, adding a mere 17 runs from about five overs during their association which was ended by Pandey.
The India bowler struck again in the ninth over, cleaning up Devine (21) and also broke the fourth-wicket stand between Perry and Ghosh to return with an impressive 4-0-23-3. Pandey also took a sharp catch to dismiss Heather Knight (11).
Even though she failed to pick up a wicket, Kapp was once again magnificent with her line and lengths, allowing just 18 runs from her four overs.