Scintillating fifties from Laura Wolvaardt and Ashleigh Gardner took Gujarat Giants to 147/4 in 20 overs against Delhi Capitals in Match 14 of the Womens Premier League (WPL) at the Brabourne Stadium here on Thursday.
While Laura took time before opening up to make 57 off 45 balls, Ashleigh was aggressive from the word go to be unbeaten on 51 off 33 balls. While getting their respective first fifties of the competition, Laura and Ashleigh were involved in a crucial 81-run partnership off 53 balls for the third wicket.
The duo ensured Gujarat did not suffer a batting collapse on a pitch that offered some help for the spinners. Electing to bowl first, Delhi had early success as Sophia Dunkley mistimed the loft to mid-on off Marizanne Kapp in the opening over. Harleen Deol and Laura Wolvaardt took a boundary each off Radha Yadav and Marizanne respectively.
Harleen was more aggressive of the two, sweeping and cutting off-spinners with ease while dancing down the pitch to drive a half-volley from Arundhati Reddy through mid-on. But her knock came to an end in the tenth over when she tried to cut off Jess Jonassen and nicked behind to keeper Taniyaa Bhatia.
Taniyaa instantly urged captain Meg Lanning to take the review, which showed a clear spike and prompted the umpire to reverse the decision. Ashleigh almost chopped one off Marizanne, but the ball beat Taniyaa to get a boundary.
After surviving an lbw review, Ashleigh played some terrific shots -- thumping Shikha Pandey over cover, before opening her bat face late to cut through backward point for back-to-back boundaries.
When Radha was brought back into the attack, Ashleigh danced down the pitch to smash a full toss over deep mid-wicket for four. She was given out lbw on the very next ball, but she took the review, which showed an inside edge.
Ashleigh and Laura took a four each off Marizanne before the latter lofted Jess for six over long-off. She followed it up by hitting a brace of fours to reach her fifty in the 17th over. While Laura smashed a four down the ground off Shikha, Ashleigh took back-to-back fours off Arundhati through the leg side.
Laura had to depart for 57 when she tried to heave a yorker from Arundhati and the ball deflected off the pads to hit the stumps in the 19th over. Ashleigh slammed a brace of fours through mid-wicket off Jess in the final over to get her fifty despite Dayalan Hemalatha falling on the last ball of the innings.
Brief scores: Gujarat Giants 147/4 in 20 overs (Laura Wolvaardt 57, Ashleigh Gardner 51 not out; Jess Jonassen 2-38, Marizanne Kapp 1-24) against Delhi Capitals
( 468 Words)