RCB win big as Renuka and Molineux hand Giants a thrashing

RCB have started to right the wrongs of 2023 (3:02)

Takeaways from the RCB vs Gujarat Giants clash which kept Giants to the bottom of the table (3:02)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 110 for 2 (Mandhana 43, Meghana 36*) beat Gujarat Giants 107 for 7 (Hemalatha 31*, Deol 22, Molineux 3-25, Renuka 2-14) by eight wickets

Another day, another packed crowd for a Royal Challengers Bangalore game, another win for the home team. RCB took seven games last season to reach four points on the table; in WPL 2024, it's taken them just two as they put up another solid all-round show to continue their winning march by hammering Gujarat Giants by eight wickets at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

It was Renuka Singh who started the Giants' fall in a stellar spell of new-ball bowling where she picked 2 for 14 off her four overs. Sophie Molineux then had the middle order in a tangle, finishing with 3 for 25 as Giants limped to 107 for 7 off their 20 overs.

In reply, Smriti Mandhana bashed a 27-ball 43, and S Meghana then continued the momentum as RCB raced to their target in just 12.3 overs to move to the top of the points table.

Renuka 'Swing' helps RCB hold sway

At the toss, RCB captain Mandhana had hoped for some early assistance for her fast bowlers, as has been the case in a few of the previous games. And Renuka did not disappoint. Giants had a new opening combination in Beth Mooney and Harleen Deol. That didn't change their fortunes though.

Renuka got the ball to hoop around, but it was her in-between lengths that left the batters clueless. Mooney started by getting two fours away off Renuka: one a flourishing square drive that got her off the mark and the other a wristy flick through midwicket.

Renuka didn't take to this kindly. She got the ball to pitch from around wicket angle and curve back into Mooney. The batter played down the wrong line and found her off pole flattened. Then came Phoebe Litchfield, promoted to No. 3. But the RCB bowlers had both her and Deol in a stranglehold. Giants could only manage 16 runs in the first five overs before three fours in the sixth helped end the powerplay better.

Renuka then claimed her second wicket taking out Litchfield, who was undone by some smart keeping from Richa Ghosh. Renuka had picked up more wickets in the one game than she had in the last seven WPL matches combined. Giants were well and truly cut to size.

Giants have no answers to Molineux's left-arm spin

Molineux was out of action for close to 12 months after suffering an ACL injury and is making up for lost time. She came onto bowl in the ninth over and immediately found her bearings. She mixed her pace and length, and had Veda Krishnamurthy slog one down deep midwicket's throat in just her second over. She then saw Deol go for a non-existent single and ran her out as Giants slipped to 50 for 4 in the 11th over.

When she was brought back for her next spell, she accounted for the wicket of Kathryn Bryce, who was beaten for pace. She was taken for a four and six in the death overs but made sure to claim her third wicket, getting Sneh Rana stumped.

If not for D Hemalatha's 35-ball 31, Giants would have failed to go past 100. They had faced 67 dot balls in the innings, the most by a team in a WPL game.

Mandhana, Meghana put RCB in pole position

Mandhana had her eye on the NRR right from the get-go. A backfoot punch past backward point, a pull over midwicket, and a thump through square leg: she struck three fours off Lea Tahuhu's first four balls and there was no looking back thereon.
Bryce was belted past deep midwicket and Meghna Singh was slammed for back-to-back fours as RCB raced to 32 for 0 after three overs. Ashleigh Gardner got the better of Sophie Devine but that did not stop the RCB train.

Meghana, fresh from a half-century against UP Warriorz, continued in the same vein going over the top against Bryce twice. Mandhana eventually fell for 43, popping a simple return catch to Tanuja Kanwar, but the damage had been done.

Ellyse Perry came in at No. 4 and immediately got the boundaries flowing. She pulled one past short fine leg to seal the win for RCB with 45 balls to spare.

Giants now find themselves down at the bottom of the points table.

RCB Women 2nd innings Partnerships

1st32SFM DevineS Mandhana
2nd40S MeghanaS Mandhana
3rd38EA PerryS Meghana