WPL 2023: Shafali’s whirlwind fifty, Kapp’s fifer script Delhi Capitals’ 10-wicket win over Gujarat Giants

“Thank god for what Marizanne [Kapp] did, I’ll hopefully be able to reach home on time and avoid getting scolded,” quipped a fan who ventured a little too close to the media tribune to not make his way into this report.

From item numbers blaring on loudspeakers to acrobatics being performed by Gujarat Giants cheerleaders, nothing could steal the spotlight from Marizanne Kapp as she wreaked havoc on the field.

A five-for by Kapp, supported well by a three-wicket haul by Shikha Pandey, saw Gujarat skittled out for 105. Moreover, Gujarat’s decision to swap an in-form Sophia Dunkley with last-minute draft Laura Wolvaardt backfired.

Opener S. Meghana (0) was the first to fall prey to Kapp’s pace as a yorker knocked her bails off on the second ball of the match. While that would’ve been a warning as good as any for what lay ahead, Gujarat didn’t take heed. The result – Kapp picked up the wickets of Wolvaardt and Ashleigh Gardner in quick succession.

To add to Gujarat’s woes, Pandey joined the party by picking the wicket of D. Hemalatha, who had shown some promise in the earlier matches. She then wrapped up the tail by dismissing Tanuja Kanwar (13 off 19) and Sneh Rana (2 off 3).

Radha Yadav pitched in with the wicket of Georgia Wareham, who came in place of Annabel Sutherland. 

With a meagre 105 to chase and a world-class batting order waiting to reap the benefits of its bowlers’ performance, DC hammered its way through the chase.

Opener Shafali Verma almost whisked away the baton of the fastest WPL (Women’s Premier League) fifty from under Dunkley’s nose with a 19-ball half-century, the fastest by an Indian in the tournament.

A splendid 28-ball 76 by Shafali and a 15-ball 21 by captain Meg Lanning was more than enough for Delhi Capitals, which chased down the target in just 7.1 overs.

“We are a new team and much like everyone else, we are trying to see what fits where,” said Lanning in the post-match press conference as her team obliged the fan who hoped to reach home on time during the innings break. 

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