WPL 2024: Asha Shobana's historic five-wicket haul help RCB knock down UP Warriorz in a close battle

RCB's Asha Shobana's historic five-wicket haul secures a thrilling 2-run victory over UP Warriorz in WPL 2024.

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Koushik Biswas
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WPL 2024: Asha Shobana's historic five-wicket haul help RCB knock down UP Warriorz in a close battle

A jubilant Asha Shobana after getting rid of Vrinda Dinesh. Image | BCCI

RCB defeated UP Warriorz by 2 runs in a rolacoster of a match in Bengaluru as Asha Shobana claimed her maiden five-wicket haul of WPL. Asha's 22/5 was the first-ever five-wicket haul by an Indian in the Women's Premier League history. UP Warriorz batters had things under control after RCB had posted 157 in the first inning. However, at the end they could not hold on their nerves as they eventually fell short by 2 runs.

UP Warriorz captain Alyssa Healy won the toss and decided to bowl first thinking of the dew in the second inning. Her decision was accepted by UP Warriorz bowlers as Grace Harris first trapped Sophie Devine on 1. Then, they got the big fish Smriti Mandhana out on 13 from 11 after the southpaw batter was dropped on 12 by Rajeshwari Gaikwad. Tahila McGrath was the bowler on that occasion.

Sophie Ecclestone after  getting Ellyse Perry out in WPL 2024  Image | BCCI
Sophie Ecclestone after getting Ellyse Perry out in WPL 2024 Image | BCCI

Though Sabbhineni Meghana kept on fighting the boundaries in between, RCB kept on losing wickets from the other end. Ellyse Perry (8 from 7) was the next batter to go as she tried to go over the cover against Sophie Ecclestone. But, after that, it was all about the fourth wicket partnership between Meghana and Richa Ghosh that gave hope to the RCB fans.

Richa took her time in the initial period to settle in but then changed her gear as the inning progressed. Meantime, Meghana completed her fifty in 40 balls, her first in the competition's history. Meantime, Richa hit four boundaries in a single over against Saima Thakor to get going in her inning.

Richa Ghosh scored a 31-ball fifty against UP Warriorz in their first game of WPL 2024  Image | BCCI
Richa Ghosh scored a 31-ball fifty against UP Warriorz in their first game of WPL 2024 Image | BCCI

RCB lost Meghana (53 from 44 balls) in the 17th over as she tried to come out and go for a big shot against Rajeshwari Gayakwad. However, Richa kept on smashing the ball all around the park and kept on finding the boundaries despite losing partners from the other end. Richa completed her maiden fifty in just 31 balls and finished her inning on 62 from 37 balls including 12 boundaries in that inning.

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Shreyanka Patil's last ball six took RCB's score close to 160 as they finished their inning on 157/6. Rajeshwari Gayakwad was the star of the bowlers for UP Warriorz with her 24/2 in 4 overs.

In the second inning, UP Warriorz did not have the start they were looking for as they lost their captain early. Alyssa Healy lost her stumps to a beauty of a delivery from Sophie Molineux. However, post her dismissal, it was Vrinda Dinesh and Tahila McGrath who steadied the ship for them.

A jubilant Asha Shobana after getting rid of Vrinda Dinesh.  Image | BCCI
A jubilant Asha Shobana after getting rid of Vrinda Dinesh. Image | BCCI

But, sadly after a quick start, Vrinda Dinesh started facing difficulties in rotating strikes and finding the boundaries. Soon, she lost her wicket looking to go after Asha Shobana. Tahila McGrath went back to the pavilion two balls later and the target looked too far away for the UP team.

Then, it was all about Grace Harris and Shweta Sehrawat and their 77-run partnership that gave hope to UP fans. With 32 needed from 24 balls, UP were cruising home with Grace Harris and Shweta looking great. But, Asha Shobana again did the trick for RCB by taking three wickets in the 17th over.

Asha first got rid of Shweta asking her to go for a shot. Then, two balls later, Grace Haris went back to the pavilion while going for a big shot. Kiran Navgire was the last to go in that over. However, 14 runs including 3 boundaries in the next over against Shreyanka Patil meant, UP would again make a comeback in the game.

With 11 needed from the last 6 balls, Deepti Sharma could not find any boundary against Sophie Molineux as RCB won by 2 runs at the end. Asha Shobana was the player of the match for her 22/5. She is the first Indian to get a five-wicket haul in WPL history.

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Womens Cricket Smriti Mandhana Deepti Sharma Rcb Richa Ghosh Ellyse Perry Alyssa Healy Wpl Wpl 2024 UP Warriorz Sophie Ecclestone