Mumbai: Left-arm pacer Tara Norris became the first ever bowler to pick a fifer in the inaugural Women’s Premier League, as she led Delhi Capitals to a comprehensive 60-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore at Brabourne Stadium on Sunday.
After a brilliant 162-run opening partnership between Shafali Verma and captain Meg Lanning followed by a strong finish from Marizanne Kapp and Jemimah Rodrigues propelled Delhi to a massive 223/2, Tara was the chief architect of Bangalore’s collapse from 89/2 to 96/7. She ended up picking 5/29 in her four overs as Bangalore could make 163/8 in their 20 overs, giving Delhi their first win of the competition.
Bangalore’s chase began with Smriti Mandhana taking two fours, including a sweetly-timed pick-up shot, and a six off Marizanne Kapp in the second over. From the other end, Sophie Devine took advantage of the width coming from Shikha Pandey to hit three boundaries in the third over.
Smriti nailed the slog-sweep and then got an outside edge on an attempted slog to take back-to-back fours off Jess Jonassen in the fourth over. The opening stand was broken by Alice Capsey when Sophie reached out to go over mid-of, but Shafali Verma dived across to complete a stunning catch.
In her next over, Alice took out Smriti as her half-hearted shot was caught easily by the short fine leg. Ellyse Perry and Disha Kasat tried injecting some momentum in the chase by hitting five fours, including the former taking a hat-trick of boundaries off Radha Yadav, in the tenth over.
But Tara’s introduction got the match firmly in Delhi’s favour. In her first over, she got Ellyse to chop onto her stumps. Two balls later, she got Disha to pull straight to deep backward square leg.
In her next over, Tara had Richa Ghosh mistiming the loft to long-on and Kanika Ahuja slicing straight to short third man to be on the cusp of taking a hat-trick. Though she didn’t get the hat-trick, Delhi had another scalp when Asha Shobana top-edged to short fine leg off Shikha.
Heather Knight and Megan Schutt slammed five fours and two sixes in the 54-run partnership off 28 balls for the eighth wicket. But Tara ended the stand by having Heather loft to extra cover to pick the first five-wicket haul of the tournament. Megan ended the innings with back-to-back fours, but it wasn’t enough for them to stop Delhi from a thumping win.
Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals 223/2 in 20 overs (Shafali Verma 84, Meg Lanning 72; Heather Knight 2/40) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (Smriti Mandhana 35, Ellyse Perry 31; Tara Norris 5/29, Alice Capsey 2/10) by 60 runs