Royal Challengers Bangalore got their first win of the Women's Premier League when they defeated Alyssa Healy's UP Warriorz on Wednesday night at the DY Patil Sports Academy. The Challengers were tested by a strong spin bowling line-up of the Warriorz as they sent RCB's international stars and captain Smriti Mandhana back inside 9 overs as the score read 60. Then came the uncapped young Indian star Kanika Ahuja into action. She made a statement, an impact in the 12th over of the chase, that turned the game on its head. She collected three fours off veteran Rajeshwari Gayakwad to bring the chase at run-a-ball after the 11th over.
Ahuja missed out on a well-deserved fifty as Ecclestone cleaned her in the 17th over. But the damage was done as Richa Ghosh and Shreyanka Patil took the team over the line in the 18th over.
Who is Kanika Ahuja?
Kanika is a Patiala, Punjab-born uncapped Indian cricketer who was born on 7th August 2002. Ahuja has not always dreamt of being a cricketer. She liked roller skating but decided to play cricket. Ahuja has scored an unbelievable 305 off 122 balls in an inter-district women's senior one-day tournament. She was well supported by her mother for her passion to play cricket. Her father wanted her to focus on her studies. "There was a time when my mother was the one who always supported me, even though it was only to get rid of me because if I stayed at home I would either eat up her brains or fly kites on the terrace all day," she said at the post-match press conference after the match.
The young Indian dedicated the special innings to her mother. "She's a little physically unwell so I'm playing all for her, because she's watching me. I want to dedicate this to my mother," she said.
Ahuja wanted to win the game for RCB. She said that they just don't have to win but beat the opposition convincingly. "Humare dimag mein bas yehi tha ke aaj bas jeetna nahin hai, aaj unko maarna hai. We had nothing to lose, we just wanted to win," she adds.
The Southpaw, like any other youngster, dreams to play for the national side. "Obviously, Like every player who takes up the game, I also want to play for India. I've got this platform of WPL to showcase my skills and if I keep getting better here, I'll hopefully get to play for India too," she added. Kanika powered the Royal Challengers Bangalore to their first win of the tournament as the Bangalore side defeated the UP Warriorz by 5 wickets. Smriti Mandhana's side finally got off to mark with a win at the DY Patil Sports Academy and keep their playoff hopes alive.