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Kanika is a 360-degree player, impressed by her belief, remarks Mandhana after RCB’s first win



Royal Challengers Bangalore

Mumbai: Following her side’s five-wicket win over UP Warriorz in their Women’s Premier League (WPL) match, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Smriti Mandhana lauded young all-rounder Kanika Ahuja for her match-winning knock and her self-belief, saying that she is a 360-degree player. After bowlers ran riot, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batters held their nerves as Kanika Ahuja’s blistering innings of 46 runs helped RCB defeat UP Warriorz (UPW) by 5 wickets in their Women’s Premier League (WPL) match here at DY Patil Sports Academy on Wednesday.

“Yeah, it was tense. We lost a couple of wickets in the 7th over, it was a bit nervous. But the way Kanika and Richa played was brilliant. Kanika in particular, really proud of her. I am really excited to see her bat, the approach she has. She is a 360-degree player, who isn’t the most common in Indian cricket. Really impressed with her and the belief she has. Even when we have not been in great positions, the crowd keep chanting for us. Really happy for this loyal support base, not a lot of teams will have supporters turn up in such high numbers after losing five games,” said Mandhana after the match. After being put to bat first by RCB, UP Warriorz were bundled out for 135 runs in 19.3 overs. After the side was reduced to 31/5, a 69-run sixth wicket stand between Grace Harris (46 off 32 balls) and Deepti Sharma (22 off 19 balls) helped the side reach a respectable total.

Ellyse Perry was the pick of the bowlers for RCB, taking 3/16 in four overs. Sophie Devine and Asha Shobana took two wickets each. Megan Schutt and Shreyanka Patil also got a wicket each. In the chase of 136 runs, RCB was in a tricky situation at 60/4 in nine overs. Then Kanika Ahuja stitched a 60-run stand with wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh to take RCB to the brink of a win. Ahuja smashed 46 off 30 balls with eight fours and a six while Ghosh made 31* off 32 balls with three fours and a six, finishing unbeaten with Shreyanka Patil (5*), who hit the winning runs. RCB won the match by five wickets with two overs to spare.

Deepti (2/26) was the pick of the bowlers for UP. Grace, Sophie Ecclestone and Devika Vaidya also took a wicket each. With this win, RCB is at the fourth spot in the table with one win and five losses in six matches and a total of five points. UP Warriorz is still at the third spot with two wins and three losses in five matches and a total of four points.

Kanika’s knock earned her the ‘Player of the Match’ title.

Brief score:

UP Warriorz 135 (Grace Harris 46, Deepti Sharma 22; Ellyse Perry 3-16) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 136/5 (Kanika Ahuja 46, Richa Ghosh 31*; Deepti Sharma 2-26).

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