Bikaner Strikers crowned champions of Rajasthan Royals Women's Cup 2022
The Strikers, led by their captain Archana Saini, chased down a target of 102 with 2 wickets remaining in the Final match to clinch the title in Jodhpur on Monday evening and remain undefeated in the competition
The Rajasthan Royals Women's Cup 2022, in association with Rajasthan Cricket Association, concluded here at the Spartans Cricket Academy Ground, Uchiyarda on Monday evening with the Bikaner Strikers beating Jaipur Warriors by two wickets in the final match to clinch the title. The low-scoring encounter saw the Strikers' bowling attack led by economical spells by Sonal Kalal, Maina Siyol and Ankita Mahla restrict the Warriors to a total of 101/5 wickets. The Warriors put up a fight with the ball but could not stop their opponents from crossing the line in a nail-biting finish. Rajasthan Royals swashbuckling batters Riyan Parag and Shubham Garhwal, along with the Royals' Head of High-Performance Operations Romi Bhinder were in attendance to cheer on the teams, and also give away the respective prizes to the players.
The match started with the Bikaner Strikers continuing their fine form with the ball as Ankita Mahla struck in the 4th over, and Sonal picked up two wickets in one over to put the Jaipur Warriors in a struggling position at 21/3 inside the first 5 overs. However, Arju Bishnoi and Manisha Kuntal steadied the ship for the team from Jaipur, putting on 42 runs for the fourth wicket, before Kuntal was trapped in front of the wickets by the in-form Maina Siyol, who grabbed her sixth wicket of the competition. A determined finish in the end through Koushalya's knock of 25 runs off 22 balls saw the Warriors finish with 101 runs on the board for the loss of five wickets. In reply, the Strikers lost three wickets inside the powerplay as well to set up a nail-biting finale. The chasing team tried to stitch partnerships together but only one batter managed to score more than 20 as the team lost 3 more wickets by the end of the 12th over. Ankita Mahla and Maina Siyol came to the Strikers' rescue with a valuable 25-run stand to put their team closer to the target of 102, but the duo was dismissed in the 17th and 18th overs respectively. In the end, with just 6 runs to get off 14 balls, Anamika Dhabhai came in and took her team over the line.
For her spell of 4-1-18-2, Bikaner Strikers' Sonal Kalal was chosen as the Player of the Match, while Jaipur Warriors' Arju Bishnoi's 122 runs across three matches including a half-century was enough for her to win the Player of the Tournament award. On the batting front, Ajmer Blazers' Tanuja Vaishnav was given the Batter of the Tournament award for her 95 runs off the two league matches, including a destructive inning of 65 runs off 43 balls. Maina Siyol won the Bowler of the Tournament award for her six wickets in three games which included a hattrick in her opening match. Rajasthan Royals destructive batter Riyan Parag, who was seen interacting with the players after the match, expressed his thoughts on the competition, "It was evident from the quality of cricket I saw today that they have great potential, and to be able to witness it live was extra special for me as well. My message to them was to be confident in themselves no matter the situation and to believe that they can be the world's best. The skill set that they have is good and with some guidance and persistence, they will certainly excel."
Meanwhile, Royals Head of High-Performance Operations, Romi Bhinder commented on the talent pool he's witnessed over the past few days. "When you talk about Rajasthan, it has always had the talent, but for us, it has been about providing a platform to this huge talent pool. In the past few days, I've seen the immense quality and potential, and our ambition now will be to make sure that they are provided with the right guidance and opportunities in the future as well," he commented. (ANI)
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