Mumbai: South Africa’s star batter Laura Wolvaardt top-scored with a scintillating 42-ball 68 before a 22-run final overpowered Gujarat Giants to 188 for four against Royal Challengers Bangalore in their Women’s Premier League match here Saturday.
Ashleigh Gardner (41 off 26 balls) also played a brisk knock before Harleen Deol (12 not out) and Dayalan Hemalatha (16 not out) ended GG’s innings by smashing a clueless Megan Schutt for two sixes and two fours.
Batting first after Sneh Rana won the toss, both Sophia Dunkley and Laura Wolvaardt showed positive intent at the start, hitting two boundaries each in the first two overs.
However, a ball after pulling Sophie Devine over midwicket for a four, Dunkley’s leg stump was knocked over after the batter had shuffled across too much to play the scoop shot over fine leg to a good length delivery.
Unperturbed by the setback, Wolvaardt looked to control the innings and found the fence two more times to take GG to 40 for one in five overs.
Introduced into the attack, Ellyse Perry started on a fine note and gave away just a single off her first five balls, before she conceded a boundary off a half-volley at the Brabourne Stadium. Nevertheless, it was a good over by Perry.
Leg-spinner Asha Shobana too bowled a tidy first over, conceding, like Perry, only five runs.
Having got her eye in after spending some time in the middle, Sabbhineni Meghana broke the shackles with a boundary off Preeti Bose’s first delivery off the eighth over. However, Bose came back well and gave away four runs in her next five balls.
Bose broke the 63-run partnership between Meghana and Wolvaardt when the bowler had the Indian batter stumped by Richa Ghosh in what looked like a lazy dismissal.
Ashleigh Gardner walked in and she meant business straightaway, hitting Asha for a six over long-on even as Wolvaardt, at the other end, continued to accumulate runs and reached her half-century off 35 balls, reaching the mark with a six over midwicket against Perry.
Wolvaardt then launched into Megan Schutt, smashing her for a six and a four, but Shreyanka Patil brought an end to her innings when the South African hit a low full toss straight to Bose at short midwicket.
Gardner then took it upon herself to finish GG’s innings on a high note, hitting a flurry of fours before getting out lbw to Patil.