Buoyant Gujarat Giants (GG) will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their penultimate league match of the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday, March 18.
Led by captain Sneh Rana, the Giants head into the crucial game high on confidence after defeating Delhi Capitals by 11 runs in their previous match at the same venue on Thursday.
Under mentor Mithali Raj and head coach Rachael Haynes, the Giants rode on Laura Wolvaardt’s 57 off 45 balls and vice-captain Ashleigh Gardner’s unbeaten 33-ball 51 to post 147/4 in their 20 overs. In reply, the Capitals lost wickets at regular intervals as they were bowled out for 136 in 18.4 overs.
With four points from six matches, the Giants are currently placed fourth in the WPL 2023 standings.
Having secured an 11-run win over RCB in their previous meeting in the WPL, the Sneh Rana-led side will aim to complete a double on Saturday in order to remain in contention for the playoffs.
For the Giants, India’s Harleen Deol has been the leading run-scorer in the ongoing T20 tournament. The 24-year-old has already scored 186 runs in six matches at an average of 31 and a strike rate of 124.83.
In the bowling department, Ashleigh Gardner has been the wrecker-in-chief for the Adani Sportline-owned outfit. The Australian off-spinner has bagged nine wickets in six games at an economy of 8.61.
On the other hand, the Smriti Mandhana-led RCB beat UP Warriorz by five wickets in their last fixture on Wednesday to end their five-match losing streak.
The Ben Sawyer-coached RCB have struggled in the inaugural edition of the WPL, having registered just a solitary win in six matches and are currently languishing at the bottom of the standings with just two points on the board.
Meanwhile, RCB’s Ellyse Perry and Asha Shobana will be the players to watch out for. Perry has been the second-highest run-getter in the tournament so far, having amassed 205 runs in six matches at an average of 41 and a strike rate of 132.25. She has also picked up three wickets at an economy of 8.23.
Asha Shobana has been the standout bowler for the Bangalore franchise, having scalped four wickets in three games at an average of 20.75.
Going by their head-to-head record, the Giants will start as slight favourites against RCB at the Brabourne Stadium on Saturday. The RCBvGG match will start at 7:30 PM Indian Standard Time (IST).