WPL: Delhi Capitals beat Gujarat Giants by 25 runs

Delhi Capitals Jess Jonassen with teammates celebrates after taking the wicket of Gujarat Giants batter Ashleigh Gardner. Photo: PTI

Bengaluru: Captain Meg Lanning's fifty and a cunning spell of left-arm spin by Jess Jonassen drove Delhi Capitals to a slick 25-run victory over Gujarat Giants in their Women's Premier League match here on Sunday.

Lanning (55, 41b, 6x4, 1x6) was the Capitals' guiding force to an adequate 163 for eight despite a late flurry of wickets. The Giants' chase never grew wings, ending up with 138 for eight despite Ashleigh Gardner's well-timed 40 off 31 balls as they crashed to their fourth defeat on the bounce.

Jonassen led the Capitals' bowling with a shrewd spell (3/22) and she received very good support from Radha Yadav (3/20). The win also propelled Delhi to the top of the table with six points.

The Gujarat side made a shaky start, conceding a maiden in the very first over to WPL debutant pacer Titas Sadhu.

Their beginning was further marred when experienced pacer Shikha Pandey castled Laura Wolvaardt with a delivery that shaped in that tiny bit to beat her swat.

But the Giants too found some flow as captain Beth Mooney and Phoebe Litchfield combined to smash 15 runs in the fourth over bowled by Pandey.

However, it was just an isolated spark as the Giants stumbled against Jonassen. In the fifth over, the Australian spinner jettisoned Mooney and Litchfield in the space of four balls to reduce Giants to 34 for three.

Gardner displayed her power while hammering pacer Annabel Sutherland for two fours and a six in the 12th over to make a total of 16 runs.

It might have given a tinge of hope to the Giants but Jonassen snuffed that out when she had Gardner stumped by Taniya Bhatia.

Before that Yadav bagged the crucial wickets of Veda Krishnamoorthy and Kathryn Bryce as Gujarat struggled to stitch together any meaningful partnership.

Earlier, Lanning used her experience to pace her innings well and build a couple of good partnerships after the Giants opted to field first.

Shafali Verma (13, 9b), as usual, flew off the traps with a six and four off left-arm spinner Tanuja Kanwar but her cameo came to an end very soon.

Verma's uppish flick of pacer Meghana Singh, the most successful Gujarat bowler with a four-wicket haul, went straight to Wolvaardt near backward square leg.

The dismissal brought Lanning, who was dropped on 30, and in-form Alice Capsey together. They scored 38 runs for the second wicket, helping Delhi to reach 51 for 1 in the Power Play segment.

Once Capsey departed, an edgy Jemimah Rodrigues (7 off 10) helped Lanning add 47 runs for the third wicket. Lanning shed her low-gear approach during this passage to pull some top shots out of the draw such as a massive hit for six over long-off off Kathryn Bryce.

Lanning reached her fifty in 39 balls but could not stay in the middle for long as her slash off Meghana settled in the hands of D Hemalatha at cover point.

The return of Lanning to the dugout dashed Delhi's attempt to up the scoring rate as they lost wickets at regular intervals and also failed to fetch a boundary for 24 balls between 15.2 and 19.3 overs. But by then they had put enough runs on the board.

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