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Alice makes Chinnaswamy her wonderland in WPL opener

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Last updated on 23 Feb 2024 | 04:51 PM
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Alice makes Chinnaswamy her wonderland in WPL opener

Bollywood galore in Chinnaswamy, but it was a 19-year old from Redhill who stole the show in the WPL opener

Shahrukh Khan was there. So were five other Bollywood stars. It was glitzy. It was glamorous. It was everything you expect the opening ceremony of cricket’s second-richest league to be. But no one would have expected that on an evening full of stars and a bonafide superstar, a teenager from Redhill, Surrey (England) would shine more at the Chinnaswamy in Bengaluru. 

Alice Capsey wouldn’t have been in the prospective first eleven of Delhi Capitals for many people. Jess Jonassen is one of the best left-arm spinners in the world in the format, and no one would have batted an eyelid if she played ahead of Capsey as the fourth overseas pick of the Delhi Capitals (DC). However, Meg Lanning and Jonathan Batty (who played for Surrey) put their bets on Alice Capsey, and currently, they are sitting on a huge pile of winnings with beaming smiles on their faces. 

Capsey scored 75 off just 53 balls in the WPL opener at a strike rate of 141.50. However, when she came in to bat, the situation resembled a sombre gathering of Buddhist monks than a ground where Bollywood sprinkled its razzmatazz. 

Shabnim Ismail, the best bowler on show for DC, bowled absolute thunderbolts to get the season started. Shafali Verma, having failed to capitalise after playing seven dots, fell to an ugly, desperate shot that we all have sadly come to associate with her. There were hardly any runs coming from Meg Lanning as well, and after three overs, DC had just six runs on the board. By the end of the sixth, the score had just moved 20 more runs. 

That’s when Harmanpreet Kaur made her first wrong move, and Capsey and her skipper Lanning instantly made her regret it. Lanning averages 39.3 and strokes at 139.4 against leg spinners in all T20s she has played after 2021, and until she was dismissed in the 11th over, she scored four boundaries, including a big six down the ground. 

When Lanning finally departed courtesy of the genius of Nathan Sciver Brunt, Alice Capsey took the mantle of scoring and boy, did she smash them!

Her onslaught against the spinners was something to watch. She charged down the pitch on seven deliveries and scored almost a third of her runs (24) in just the seventh of the total deliveries she faced courtesy of two humongous sixes against Hayley Matthews, taking 19 runs in the 12th over. 

Her footwork was immaculate, and she used her natural bat swing to its immense effect. She went from 33 off 32 to 75 off 52, scoring 42 runs in just 20 deliveries! While her big hitting down the ground was the hallmark of her innings, she played shots all around the ground. She definitely preferred the spinners of Mumbai as she scored 38 against them in 22 balls, and all the plans to choke the Delhi batters with spin in the middle overs failed. 

Jemimah Rodrigues (42 off 24) continued her good work and took DC to a very competitive total of 171. 

These 75 runs from Alice Capsey stole the limelight in a Chinnaswamy buzzing with Bollywood. The 19-year-old Alice made the stadium her own wonderland and went on an adventure that headlined the return of the biggest women’s cricket league in the world. 

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