Shafali Verma's explosive unbeaten half-century and Marizanne Kapp’s sensational five-wicket haul fired Delhi Capitals to a massive 10-wicket win against Gujarat Giants in the Women’s Premier League in Navi Mumbai on Saturday. (More Cricket News)
Kapp broke the back of Gujarat Giants’ innings with a stunning spell of 4-0-15-5, taking the top four wickets in the line-up as Delhi bowlers produced a clinical display to keep the opponents to a lowly 105 for 9 at the DY Patil Stadium here.
In reply, Shafali came out firing on all cylinders, clobbering 10 fours and five sixes to produce a ruthless knock of 76 not out off 28 balls in the company of captain Meg Lanning (21 not out from 15 balls) as DC completed the chase in a mere 7.1 overs.
Delhi Capitals made their intentions clear right from the word go, with Shafali taking a special liking for the Gujarat bowler Ashleigh Gardner, smacking her for four fours and a six in the fourth over to collect 23 runs.
Shafali continued to attack, this time hitting Tanuja Kanwar for a couple of sixes to help Delhi knock off the majority of their target, with 87 runs coming in the powerplay.
Shafali brought up her second half-century in the WPL, from just 19 balls as the senior pro in Lanning happily chose to take the backseat and enjoy the right-handed batter's power hitting, which tore apart the Gujarat’s bowling attack.
Earlier, Kapp produced a stunning spell at the top to reduce the Giants to a precarious 33 for 6 after seven overs, a position from which they could never recover.
After Kapp set the tone, the others continued to apply constant pressure on the Gujarat batters.
India’s left-arm spinner Radha Yadav returned with figures of 4-0-19-1, Minnu Mani gave away just 18 runs in her three overs and Australia’s Jess Jonassen conceded 19 runs from her four overs.
The seasoned Shikha Pandey also had a memorable outing, taking 3 for 26 from her four overs.
Kim Garth (32 not out) and Georgia Wareham tried to weather the storm and get some much-needed runs for their side, but their efforts could only provide Gujarat Giants' innings some respectability.
While Gujarat's lower order, which did bulk of the scoring, did not attempt risky strokes for quick runs, they also could not find gaps for boundaries. There were no boundaries hit between overs 13-16. Additionally, not a single six was hit in Gujarat Giants’ innings.
Kapp provided Delhi with a perfect start, cleaning up Sabbhineni Meghana (0) and Wolvaardt (1) before trapping the big gun Ashleigh Gardner (0) leg-before to leave the Giants tottering at 9 for 3 inside the first three overs.
Pandey made matters worse for Gujarat, getting Dayalan Hemlatha (5) caught behind by wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia, and Kapp then snaffled the big wicket of the in-form Harleen Deol (20), who was pinned in front of the stumps with the ball nipping back in.
Deol, the third highest run-scorer in the league and her team’s best batter, looked promising during her stay in the middle as she cracked four boundaries to make 20 off 14 balls.