Sophie Devine missed equalling her own record of the fastest ton in women’s T20 cricket by a run. But with her 36-ball 99, Devine stormed the Brabourne stadium and Gujarat Giants like a tornado on Saturday to help Royal Challengers Bangalore post a comfortable eight-wicket victory.
Chasing a stiff 189-run target, RCB captain Smriti Mandhana 37 (31b) regained some batting form. But Devine at the other end was in the mood as if she had taken a cue from compatriot Brendon McCullum to produce the best innings of the tournament. She consistently hammered the Gujarat Giants bowlers over the ropes. Her innings involved nine fours and eight sixes, one of which was 94 metres long — comfortably the biggest of the Women’s Premier League (WPL). Devine was in such a hurry that RCB’s hundred came up in the eighth over itself.
At the innings break, Gujarat Giants would have fancied their chances after T20 World Cup top scorer Laura Wolvaardt 68 (42b) and Ashleigh Gardner 41 (26b) took them to 188. But Devine made short work of the target.
RCB have managed to keep their slim hopes of making the playoffs alive. RCB and GG are now both on four points with a game in hand.
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IMAGE: Head coach Rahul Dravid has his task cut out ahead of the World Cup with India losing the ODI series to Australia. Photograph: Pankaj Nangia/Getty Image