The Hindu (Mumbai)

Mooney, Wolvaardt shine as Giants finally win

- Rakesh Rao Lavanya L

ngland may be licking its wounds but nurses hope of hurting India in pretty much English weather conditions here. This optimism rose in the week leading to the fifth and final Test starting on Thursday after a fresh spell of snowfall in the higher reaches triggered another round of cold wave.

After India took a seriesclin­ching 31 lead at Ranchi, some golfplayin­g members of the England team travelled to Bengaluru while some others camped in Chandigarh before landing here. The weather that greeted them has surely lifted their spirits.

A startstops­tart pattern of play cannot be ruled out but the prevailing day temperatur­e will suit the Englishmen more. In conditions helping seam bowling on a pitch — last used when Delhi defeated Himachal Pradesh in February — that could make

Ethe spinners smile, England’s skipper Ben Stokes will go in with pacers James Anderson and Mark Wood, leftarm spinner Tom Hartley and offspinner Shoaib Bashir if he recovers from a sickness bug. About the pitch, Stokes said, “Before we even got here we were probably thinking it was going to be a threeseame­ronespinne­r attack but then when we saw the wicket and then saw it again today, I think going with two seamers and two spinners is probably the right call.”

Looking at the positives from the tour, Stokes said “we progressed so much on this tour. You look at the players we came out here with. Hartley, Bashir... people couldn’t believe we’d picked them. Look at what they’ve managed to achieve on this trip. We’ve seen Ollie Pope, the innings he played; Ben Duckett changed as a player and a person. I am very, very happy as a captain.”

Stokes acknowledg­ed that the Indians were better in the series. “When the game has been on the line, their skill has been a lot better than ours, whether that be India with the bat or India with the ball.”

Considerin­g the return of Jasprit Bumrah and the conditions here, Rohit Sharma did not rule out a threeman pace attack.

The India skipper also backed the struggling Rajat Patidar. “He hasn’t scored as many runs he would have liked to but the guy obviously has a lot of ability. Very much new to Test cricket and we should give him some more time before making a judgement on him.”

The teams:

India (from): Rohit Sharma (Capt.), Dhruv Jurel (wk), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Ravindra Jadeja, Sarfaraz Khan, R. Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Akash Deep, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, K.S. Bharat (wk), Devdutt Padikkal, Axar Patel, and Mukesh Kumar.

England (XI): Ben Stokes (Capt.), Ben Foakes (wk), Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe

Root, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, Shoaib Bashir, and James Anderson.

Umpires: Joel Wilson and Rod Tucker; TV umpires: Kumar Dharmasena and J.

Madanagopa­l; Match referee: Jeff Crowe.

Match starts at 9.30 a.m.

Newfound confidence and a toothless bowling opponent helped Gujarat Giants register its first win of the season with a 19run victory over Royal Challenger­s Bangalore at the Arun Jaitley Stadium here on Wednesday. A 140run stand between Beth Mooney (85 n.o., 51b, 12x4, 1x6) and Laura Wolvaardt (76, 45b, 13x4) which set the Giants up for its biggest total of the season was the highlight of a largely onesided encounter.

Chasing 200, Royal Challenger­s were never allowed to get comfortabl­e at the crease with a comparativ­ely proactive bowling attack doing well to take regular wickets. Ashleigh Gardner made Smriti Mandhana her bunny yet again for a 16ball 24.

Sophie Devine began

Mooney and Wolvaardt went on the attack and powered Giants to a run short of 200.

with some massive hits peppered over long on and deep square leg but fell soon after. Ellyse Perry went a little over a run a ball but neither her nor Richa Ghosh could capitalise on their starts. Georgia Wareham (48, 22b, 6x4, 2x6) looked the most promising batter of the lot, but lost partners regularly. When the equation came down to 57 off 17 balls, the writing was on the wall for

Royal Challenger­s.

Earlier, Mooney became the first captain to win the toss and opt to set a target. The opening stand, the highest of the season and Giants’ first fiftyplus stand up top this year, exposed RCB’s wasteful bowling.

Nervy running cost Mooney two partners, Wolvaardt first and Phoebe Litchfield next after which Gardner fell for a firstball duck. D. Hemalatha and


Laura Wolvaardt run out 76 (45b,

Beth Mooney (not out) 85


Litchfield run out 18 (17b, 1x4),

Ashleigh Gardner c Simran b Wareham 0 (1b), D. Hemalatha st. Richa b Molineux 1 (3b), Veda Krishnamur­thy run out 1 (2b),

Kathryn Bryce (not out) 1 (1b);

Extras (lb3, w14): 17; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs): 199.


1140 (Wolvaardt, 12.6 overs), 2192 (Litchfield, 18.3), 3192 (Gardner, 18.4), 4195 (Hemalatha, 19.1), 5198 (Veda, 19.5).


Devine 30370, Renuka 40340, Molineux 40321, Wareham 40361, Ekta 30310, Asha 10110, Perry 10150.


S. Meghana run out 4 (13b), Smriti Mandhana lbw b Gardner 24 (16b,

Ellyse Perry c Mooney b

Veda Krishnamur­thy were sent in one after another ahead of bighitting Kathryn Bryce but could collective­ly manage just a run each. What looked like a 210run total stopped at

Bryce 24 (23b, 3x4), Sophie Devine b Tanuja 23 (16b, 1x4, 2x6), Richa Ghosh c Meghna b Gardner 30 (21b, 5x4, 1x6), Georgia Wareham run out 48 (22b, 6x4, 2x6), Sophie Molineux run out 3 (3b), Simran Bahadur (not out) 1 (2b), Ekta Bisht run out 12 (5b, 1x6); Extras (b5, lb4, w1, nb1): 11; Total (for eight wkts. in 20 overs): 180.


131 (Smriti, 4.1), 242 (Meghana, 6.2), 376 (Devine, 10.1), 496 (Perry, 13.1), 5129 (Richa, 15.6), 6163 (Molineux, 18.3), 7167 (Wareham, 18.6), 8180 (Ekta, 19.6).

GIANTS BOWLING Gardner 40232, Bryce 40261, Tanuja 40431, Meghna 40420, Mannat 10100, Shabnam 30270.

Toss: Giants; PoM: Mooney. Gujarat Giants won by 19 runs.

Thursday’s match: UP Warriorz vs. Mumbai Indians, 7.30 p.m.

199. Giants’ total featured just one six and 26 fours. Seventeen extras conceded and some clumsy fielding in key moments only compounded Smriti and Co.’s off night on the field.

 ?? R.V. MOORTHY ?? Skipper Rohit is proud of the way the youngsters have stood up in the tough series against England.
R.V. MOORTHY Skipper Rohit is proud of the way the youngsters have stood up in the tough series against England.

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