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Renuka's terrible powerplay numbers, Mooney finally arrives in WPL, and more

article_imageTALKING POINTS
Last updated on 06 Mar 2024 | 06:39 PM
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Renuka's terrible powerplay numbers, Mooney finally arrives in WPL, and more

Here are some of the major talking points from Match 13 of the WPL 2024 between Gujarat and Bangalore

Isn’t Renuka a new-ball bowler?

In T20Is - Innings 36 | Wickets 27 | Average 16.9 | Economy 5.4

In WPL - Innings 12 | Wickets 1 | Average 177 | Economy 7.4

Renuka Singh is a powerplay specialist, someone who takes wickets with the new ball, and that’s exactly why Royal Challengers Bangalore got her in the auction. The 28-year-old, however, has failed to live up to her tag. Terribly failed would be more apt, if you look at her overall numbers. 

The right-arm seamer has only claimed three wickets in the WPL and has an average of 101.3 and an economy rate of 8.3. Amongst bowlers who have bowled at least 30 overs in the WPL, Renuka clearly has the worst average and strike rate. What’s more, she also has the seventh-worst economy rate. 

Renuka picked up only one wicket last season but started well this time around. She didn’t take a wicket in the first game against UP Warriorz but conceded only 14 runs in her three overs. Then against Gujarat Giants, she got 2/14 in four overs. RCB won both those games, however, things haven’t quite gone right for Renuka in the last four matches.

She hasn’t taken a single wicket and leaked runs at an economy of 9. Against the Giants on Wednesday (March 6), Renuka conceded 23 runs in her three overs in the powerplay and looked mediocre against the worst batting unit of the tournament. She gave away 11 in her final over and finished with figures of 0/34.

Renuka is an international player and that’s why is being backed so much. Howbeit, it’s high time she starts playing like one.

Also read - Laura Wolvaardt shows her aggressive side against RCB

Mooney finally steps up

For someone who has been one of the most consistent batters for Australia, it was surprising to see Beth Mooney struggle for runs. The left-handed opener featured in just one game last season before getting injured. When she returned this year, everyone expected Mooney to be one of the prolific run-getters, but she struggled big time in the first four encounters.

The 30-year-old could score only 60 runs at an average of 15 and a strike rate of 101.7 and it played a major role in Gujarat starting their season with four defeats. This game against RCB was sort of a do-or-die match for the Giants and their skipper finally stepped up. Mooney scored 85* off 51 and put on 140 runs for the opening wicket with Laura Wolvaardt (45-ball 76).

This was a proper knock, something you would expect from an experienced batter. Mooney allowed Wolvaardt to dictate terms in the powerplay where she herself scored at a strike rate of 135.71. That went up to 165.22 (38 off 23) in the middle overs before finishing with 200 (28 off 14) in the death overs. Thanks to her finish, the Giants got to 199/5 - the highest total this season. 

… so does Gardner

This was an important game for Ashleigh Gardner as well. The offspinner from Australia had an economy of 8.6 in 12 innings before this game in the WPL and had a point to prove. In fact, in the last two matches, Gardner ended up leaking 67 runs in seven overs. But tonight against RCB, the 26-year-old showed her class.

Despite having 199 runs on the board, the Giants had to start well against in-form Smriti Mandhana. Mooney gave the first over to Gardner and RCB could only score two runs off it, including a leg bye. Tanuja Kanwar and Kathryn Bryce then gave away 24 runs in the space of two overs, allowing RCB to race to 31/0 at the end of four overs.

Without wasting any time, Mooney brought back Gardner and she pinned Mandhana right in front of the stumps to give her team a much-needed breakthrough. She then returned to get rid of dangerous Richa Ghosh (21-ball 30) and more or less sealed the game for her side. She eventually finished with figures of 2/23. 

Wareham is a serious hitter

RCB were 96/4 when they lost Ellyse Perry at the start of 14th over, which soon became 129/5 in 16 overs after Richa fell to Gardner. With 71 runs needed from the final four overs and all of their top-five batters back in the hut, RCB could have easily lost this match by 40-50 runs, but that’s when Georgia Wareham went berserk and got them relatively close to the total.

Coming in at No. 6, the 24-year-old slammed 48 off 22 deliveries, studded with six fours and two maximums. Prior to this, she had also scored 27 off 20 against Mumbai Indians. Wareham doesn’t get much chance to bat for Australia but she has some serious numbers in T20 cricket. Since 2020, Wareham has an average of 27.1 and a strike rate of 134.1 in 46 T20 innings. She is someone who could be trusted to play the role of a finisher.

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