Sophie Molineux
Sophie Molineux took 3-25 as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Gujurat Giants in the WPL. Image by Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS
  • cricket

Molineux cuts down Giants as RCB win again in India

Glenn Moore February 28, 2024

Sophie Molineux has taken three wickets and effected a run out as Royal Challengers Bangalore delighted a large and noisy home crowd at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium with victory over Gujurat Giants in the Women’s Premier League.

The 26-year-old Victorian was expensive on her WPL debut on Saturday, taking 1-36 off her four overs as RCB beat UP Warriorz, but she showed she could be a bargain $55,000 recruit in her second outing on Tuesday [Wednesday AEDT].

Georgia Wareham also picked up a wicket and Elysse Perry made a rapid unbeaten 23 as RCB’s three Aussies gained bragging rights over Giants’ trio of compatriots.

Beth Mooney, Ashleigh Gardner and Phoebe Litchfield made just 20 runs between them as Giants managed an inadequate 7-107. 

RCB, who are hosting the first 11 group stage games, romped to an eight-wicket victory in front of more than 23,000. Gardner dismissed Kiwi Sophie Devine (6) early on but Smriti Mandhana (43), Sabbhieni Meghana (36) and Perry saw RCB home with more than seven overs to spare.  

Having lost the toss Mooney was soon at the crease, the home side opting to field. However, she was not there for long, perishing in the third over, bowled on the drive by Renuka Singh for eight off seven balls.

Litchfield replaced the skipper, but also struggled to get the ball away before being stumped for a 12-ball five.

Perry (0-8) was hit for six by Veda Krishnamurthy but it was a rare blow as Gujurat reached the midpoint well behind par at 2-44.

It got worse as Molineux entered the attack, dismissing Krishnamurthy (9) then effecting the run-out of Harleen Deol (22) who was sent back by Gardner as she tried to call the Australian through for a run that wasn’t there.

That reduced the visitors to 4-50 after 11 overs. Gardner steadied the innings with Dayalan Hemalatha but the pair found it hard to increase the rate. Five overs and 20 runs later Gardner tried to accelerate against Australian international teammate Georgia Wareham. But she was beaten in the flight, launched the ball high but not very far, and was caught for a 12-ball seven.

Molineux picked up two more wickets, Kathryn Bryce (3) bowled and Sneh Rana (12) stumped, as the Giants scrambled into three figures. Wareham (1-20) was unlucky not to add to her tally with Hemalatha, who top scored with 31, dropped off the final ball.

“Obviously defending a low total is always going to be hard on these wickets with the batting line up RCB have,” said Mooney. “We’ll have to go back to the drawing board and find out what is going to work moving forward.

“T20 is a pretty fickle game, things turn around very quickly. If we start scoring runs in the next two games you will all forget about the first two.”