The Hindu (Mumbai)

Toofans overcome Heroes’ challenge, climb to the top of Super 5 standings

- Lavanya L Saikat Chakrabort­y

Math in sports can sometimes be so absurd. The inconseque­ntial final league game between Delhi Capitals and Gujarat Giants had one outlandish caveat.

If Giants beat Capitals by 118 runs, they could strip DC of a second straight final appearance, forcing them to go through the motions of the Eliminator.

However, this game was not for those who wanted to watch the world burn. Capitals sauntered to an sevenwicke­t win at the Arun Jaitley Stadium here on

Delhi Toofans registered a 1416, 159, 1511, 1513 win to leapfrog opponent Calicut Heroes and go to the top of the Super 5 table in the Prime Volleyball League here on Wednesday.

The first set was a nailbiter, with both teams showcasing their attacking prowess. Calicut’s Ukkra Pandian and Jerome Vinith displayed their skills, while Delhi’s Daniel Aponza countered with a barrage of powerful smashes. However, a crucial net fault by Aponza handed Heroes a twopoint advantage, al

Wednesday to end the league stage of WPL 2024 on top of the table for the second season in a row.

Beth Mooney opted to bat but fell to Marizanne Kapp for a fiveball duck. Jess Jonassen smashed into D. Hemalatha’s offstump after which Kapp once again ticked her ‘two wickets in the PowerPlay’ habit, with Laura Wolvaardt holing out to Shafali Verma.

Ashleigh Gardner and Phoebe Litchfield, who have had an abysmal season with the bat per their high standards, managed positive starts but lost their bearings to Minnu Mani and Shikha Pandey respective­ly. Bharti Fulmali and Kathryn Bryce’s resistance, which saw the pair stitch a lowing them to snatch the set 1614. The second set remained equally close, with the score at 88. A success68r­un stand in 50 balls, helped the team get to a subpar but respectabl­e 126 for nine.

In response, Meg Lanning and Shafali Verma put up a quickfire 31 runs in the first three overs.

Shabnam Shakil, who has listed this duo in her list of dream wickets, will have to wait until next season to try again with the ful review by Toofans turned the tide in their favour, and with the help of their opposite hitter Lazar openers giving her a hard taste of quality batting.

While Lanning — who usurped the orange cap from Deepti Sharma after crossing the 300run mark in her second season on the trot — and Alice Capsey fell soon, Shafali dealt in boundaries, with Jemimah Rodrigues cheering her on at the other end.

She fell to Tanuja Kan

Dodic, they secured the set. The momentum shifted in the third as Dodic and Rohit Kumar stepped up

Shikha 0 out 1 11 (Mooney, 0.6 overs), 212 (Hemalatha, 3.3), 316 (Wolvaardt, 4.2), 439 (Gardner, 8.4), 548 (Litchfield, 10.2), 6116 (Bharti, 18.4), 7116 (Tanuja, 18.5), 8118 (Shabnam, 19.3), 9122 (Meghna, 19.5).


Kapp 40172, Shikha 40232, Jonassen 40321, Radha

20170, Arundhati 30200, Minnu 2092, Capsey 1030.


Meg Lanning run out 18 (10b, 4x4), Shafali Verma c Litchfield b Tanuja 71 (37b, 7x4, 5x6), Alice Capsey c Mannat b Tanuja 0 (4b), Jemimah Rodrigues (not out) 38 (28b, 4x4, Marizanne Kapp (not out) 0 Extras (w2): 2; Total (for three wkts. in 13.1 overs): 129.


131 (Lanning, 3.1), 231 (Capsey, 3.5), 3125 (Shafali, 12.6).

GIANTS BOWLING Shabnam 20150, Bryce 10160, Tanuja 41202, Meghna 20280, Gardner 20280, Mannat 2.10220.

Toss: Gujarat Giants.

Playerofth­eMatch: Shafali. Delhi Capitals won by seven wickets with 41 balls to spare.

wer as she sought a glory shot to finish the game.

The fixture was sealed even before the chase crossed the 10th over, with Capitals eventually ending their league stage campaign with a thumping win and 6.5 overs to spare. for Delhi. Aponza continued to shine with impressive blocks, thwarting Heroes’ attempts to regain control.

The fourth saw Heroes take an early lead (75) but Toofans clawed their way back, tying the score at 11. They strategica­lly called for a ‘Super Point,’ a highpressu­re opportunit­y to win the set with a single point.

Unsuccessf­ul review

Chirag Yadav’s attempt sailed out and Heroes’ desperate review proved unsuccessf­ul. Delhi clinched the set 1513, sealing a hardfought win.

The result:

Delhi Toofans bt Calicut Heroes 1416, 159, 1511, 1513.

 ?? SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR ?? Shafali slammed seven fours and five sixes to hasten Capitals’ entry into final.
SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR Shafali slammed seven fours and five sixes to hasten Capitals’ entry into final.
 ?? M. VEDHAN ?? Delhi’s Toofan! Anand makes a spectacula­r return in the match against Heroes.
M. VEDHAN Delhi’s Toofan! Anand makes a spectacula­r return in the match against Heroes.

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