Bruised RCB look to start afresh against Capitals

Bruised RCB look to start afresh against Capitals

RCB look to get off the mark

Royal Challengers Bangalore cannot go lower in position in the points table. Delhi Capitals are soaring and are one of the teams to beat. As the second half of the Women’s Premier League starts, Royal Challengers would look to start afresh.

The last time the two teams met was the start of a special opening partnership for Capitals between Shafali Verma and Meg Lanning. Capitals opted to play Laura Harris in their previous game against Gujarat Giants in place of Alice Capsey but the ten-wicket win denied her a chance to bat. A plethora of bowling options in the XI – with even Minnu Mani chipping in against Giants – allows for a cushion of comfort.

On the other hand, Royal Challengers’ powerplay run-rate of 8.91 in the WPL is only behind Capitals’ 9.79. But their middle and lower middle order have failed to build on the starts and that has meant they have fallen short on most occasions. Sophie Devine has slowly found her touch at the top of the order and along with Ellyse Perry has been among the top-scorers in the competition.

Players to watch

Laura Harris is one of the cleanest strikers of the ball in T20s. Her strike rate of 157.01 across 83 innings in the Women’s Big Bash League is the best among those who batted in at least ten innings in the competition. Capitals’ lower middle order is bolstered by her presence in the XI.

Smriti Mandhana has had a horrid run so far. In each of the four innings, she has been dismissed by spinners – three of them against offspin. It will be the first time she will return to DY Patil Stadium, where her 79-run knock helped India tie the second T20I against Australia and then win it via a Super Over. Will that help her turn her form around?

Playing XIs

Delhi Capitals (possible): 1 Meg Lanning (capt), 2 Shafali Verma, 3 Jemimah Rodrigues, 4 Marizanne Kapp, 5 Laura Harris, 6 Jess Jonassen, 7 Minnu Mani, 8 Taniya Bhatia (wk), 9 Shikha Pandey, 10 Radha Yadav, 11 Tara Norris

Royal Challengers Bangalore (possible): 1 Smriti Mandhaa (capt), 2 Sophie Devine, 3 Ellyse Perry, 4 Heather Knight, 5 Erin Burns/Dane van Niekerk, 6 Richa Ghosh (wk), 7 Kanika Ahuja, 8 Shreyanka Patil, 9 Renuka Singh, 10 Komal Zanzad, 11 Sahana Pawar

Stats and trivia

  • Capitals have hit the most sixes in the WPL – 22 – and Royal Challengers are second with 13.
  • Marizanne Kapp’s 5 for 15 are the best figures in the WPL so far.
  • Heather Knight is the leading wicket-taker for Royal Challengers with four.
  • Quotes

    “To see her do so well was great. She’s been a little bit down throughout the tournament. I don’t think she has bowled badly but it’s the nature of the game. She works very hard and is very hard on herself.”
    Meg Lanning on her Delhi Capitals team-mate Marizanne Kapp

    “Losing four games in a row in a brand new competition is really tough. The best part about playing team sport is you can go back and support one another and know one another’s feelings.”
    Ellyse Perry after Royal Challengers Bangalore’s previous loss

    (With Inputs from ESPN)

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