In what seems like a surprising turnaround of events that has spiced up the last minute proceedings of the points table, the Royal Challengers Bangalore women have seized control of their ship that initially seemed to veer off its actual destination, rocked by countless thunderstorms.
However, thanks to Ellyse Perry and a slew of young guns who came firing on all cylinders against the UP Warriorz to secure their maiden win of the tournament and try and keep their hopes of making the play-offs mathematically alive. In another must-win match for the Challengers, they will be up against the mighty Gujarat Giants in what can very well be the decider for the fourth spot momentarily before that final hurdle that would determine the fate of the play-offs.
Sophie Devine, Ellyse Perry, Heather Knight and a late charge from Shreyanka Patil helped them keep the hunt alive only to be denied a smile in the dying embers as the wickets toppled in a hurry. More importantly, the bowlers who were unable to find some momentum going their way, have eventually recovered and after a tight display against Delhi Capitals, they were absolutely rampant against a mighty UP Warriorz.
RCB would be riding high on some late-found momentum as they try and challenge the might of Gujarat after dishing out an absolute masterclass in the first time they met. They were unfortunate in the end as they fell short of the staggering total by 11 runs.
A few player battles to watch out for:
Smriti has so far been reticent in the tournament and barring those couple of decent knocks, she has simply failed to hit the stride. With the team coming back to life and with Virat Kohli handing them over a supercharged pep-talk, she will be hoping to turn the tide around. Georgia Wareham can very well be a game-changer and considering her knack for performing under the pump, this is going to be a battle to savour.
Ellyse Perry has been handy both with the bat and the ball in recent times and is currently the highest scorer of the RCB side. Her three-fer in the last game would be another alarming reason for the opposition to be scared of her. Talking about being spooked out, there is one name in the Gujarat ranks, Ashleigh Gardner who knows the trade secrets of the elite Australian and can be a key for the Giants to try and get hold of Ellyse Perry early in the innings.
Asha Sobhana has been the silent assassin, claiming four wickets in the last two games and also keeping things extremely tight. Not only does she take wickets at regular intervals but she secures the bigger scalps like the ones in the last game where she removed Kiran Nagvire who looked dangerous and Simran Shaikh. Sneh Rana, being the skipper of Gujarat will try and destabilise Asha from being focused on keeping things under check but with all said and done, this is going to be another contest to relish.
How does Gujarat Giants pose to change the points table?
Gujarat Giants, on the contrary, will be buoyed by confidence as they will be coming fresh from a win against the Delhi Capitals and will be hopeful of putting their best foot forward as the opportunity to keep themselves alive in the hunt seems slightly better than RCB at the moment.
They have a sturdy batting line-up that will try and fire at full throttle but consistency has been a major issue for them. There have been instances where they have left the opponents broken, beaten scarred while there have been moments where they have curled themselves in the husk faster than a lightning bolt. With all said and done, this is going to be an entertaining battle of two sides who have so far struggled in the tournament but will be coming to this fixture on the back of swashbuckling victories, hoping to make amends to their earlier slip-ups.