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In the second match of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024 between Royal Challengers Bangalore Women and UP Warriorz, Sobhana Asha’s five-wicket haul helped the hosts begin their new campaign on a winning note. The last-ball thriller on Saturday, February 24, had Smriti Mandhana’s RCB-W defeat Alyssa Healy’s Warriorz by two runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

The captain of the UP Warriorz, Alyssa Healy, decided to field first after winning the toss at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, known to be a very good chasing ground. Her decision paid dividends in the powerplay stage when two of her Australian counterparts sent the opening duo of Sophie Devine and the Royal Challengers Bangalore Women captain Smriti Madhana back to the pavilion for low scores.

Sophie Ecclestone got the better of Ellyse Perry to reduce the Royal Challengers to 54/3 in the seventh over. It led to a much-needed partnership of 71 runs between the Indian duo of Sabbhineni Meghana and Richa Ghosh for the fourth wicket, bringing their team back into the contest.

After Meghana was dismissed for 53 off 44, hitting seven fours and one maximum, it was Ghosh who took charge of the Royal Challengers Bangalore Women innings. She scored 62 off just 37 balls with 12 fours to help propel her team to a competitive total of 157/6 in their allotted overs.

The run chase for the UP Warriorz started on a tough note with their captain Alyssa Healy falling for just five runs to her Aussie teammate Sophie Molineux. In the ninth over of the innings, Sobhana Asha picked up two quick wickets of set batters in Dinesh Vrinda and Tahlia McGrath to put them on the backfoot at 49/3.

Just like their opposition, the Warriorz also registered a big partnership for the fourth wicket, a 77-run stand between Grace Harris and Shweta Sehrawat before Sobhana Asha dismissed them in the 17th over. Kiran Navgire also got stumped in the same over to give a five-wicket haul to Sobhana Asha, bringing the Royal Challengers Bangalore Women right back into the contest.

The Royal Challengers capitalised on the situation, and they instantly took charge to defend 16 runs in the final two overs to beat the Warriorz by two runs in front of their home fans in Bengaluru.