Sophie Devine missed out on a well-deserved century but guided Royal Challengers Banglore to their second win in the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League. Devine scored 99 runs as RCB beat Gujarat Giants by 8 wickets at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.

Sneh Rana won the toss and elected to bat first against RCB. GG opener Sophia Dunkley started off her innings in aggressive fashion but was cleaned up by Sophie Devine in the third over. Dunkley scored 16 runs off 10 balls, hitting three boundaries.

Fellow opener Laura Wolvaardt and Sabbhineni Meghana then stitched a crucial 63-run partnership to put Gujarat back in the driver’s seat. Meghana was looking good on 31 but fell victim to Preeti Bose in the 12th over. Wolvaardt then went on to complete her half-century as Ashleigh Gardner joined her in the middle.

The two batters struck a quick-fire 52-run stand before Wolvaardt lost her wicket to Shreyanka Patil. The South African opening batter scored 68 runs in 42 balls, hitting nine boundaries and two sixes.

Gardner then took over the reins from Wolvaardt and started smashing the RCB bowlers all over the park. Gardner was looking good and inching towards her half-century but was

caught LBW by Patil in the 19th over. Then Harleen Deol and Dayalan Hemalatha smashed Megan Schutt for 22 runs in the final over to propel Gujarat’s score to 188/4 in 20 overs.

In the second innings, RCB openers Smriti Mandhana and Sophie Devine stepped onto the field with a positive approach. Devine was looking the better of the two batters as she reached her half-century in just 20 balls by smashing Deol for a six. The two batters destroyed the GG bowling attack and stitched a 125-run stand in just 56 balls.

However, Mandhana couldn’t hold onto her wicket and was caught and bowled by Sneh Rana. Mandhana scored 37 runs in 31 balls, hitting five boundaries and a six. Devine continued her carnage on the other end as she was ably supported by Ellyse Perry. Devine kept raining fours and sixes but could not become the first player to hit a century in the WPL.

Devine scored 99 runs in just 35 balls, smashing nine boundaries and eight sixes, before she was dismissed by Kim Garth in the 12th over. At this point of time, RCB needed just 32 runs to win in 48 balls.

From there, Perry along with Heather Knight sailed through the finish line, reaching the target with eight wickets and 4.3 overs remaining.
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