Perry finally rewarded as Bangalore earn first WPL win
Ellyse Perry has at last tasted victory in the Women's Premier League after her enduring excellence had gone unrewarded over the first half of the new tournament.
The 32-year-old Australian great is the second-highest run scorer in the league but has had a frustrating time as catches have been dropped off her luckless bowling while her Royal Challengers Bangalore side have failed time after time to get off the mark.
Until Wednesday that is - with Perry inevitably at the heart of their first victory yet against Alyssa Healy's UP Warriorz.
Allrounder Perry took 3-16 off her four overs, including the key wicket of big-hitting compatriot Grace Harris, as she did most to put the squeeze on the Warriorz as they struggled to 135 all out.
And though she then had a rare failure with the bat, Perry's 10 runs took her past 200 for the tournament, second only to Delhi's Australian captain Meg Lanning.
Eventually, it was two young Indian teammates, Richa Ghosh (31no) and Kanika Ahuja (46), who put together the key partnership that guided RCB to a five-wicket win, their maiden triumph at the sixth attempt.
No wonder it brought a beaming smile to Smriti Mandhana, RCB's captain who has failed to find any form with the bat despite being the highest-paid player in the league.
This time, Mandhana suffered a third-ball duck but she's at least been able to rely on the leadership support of Perry, who was the one giving the team a bit of a pep talk in a huddle during the mid-innings timeout.
This time, the Sydneysider herself shone with the ball, taking two wickets in three balls in the 15th over to get rid of Deepti Sharma before then bouncing out the dangerous Harris, who had clouted a couple of sixes in her 32-ball 46.
RCB's win even still gives them an outside chance of challenging for a place among the three teams in the knockout stages as they finally moved off the bottom of the table above Gujarat Giants with their first two points of the campaign.
But it was a missed opportunity for Healy, who'd been hoping to lift her side into a strong position in the table. Instead, after being asked to bat first by RCB, she got dismissed by New Zealander Sophie Divine for just one before overseeing a defeat that leaves the Warriorz still third on four points.
In another all-Australian duel, RCB's Megan Schutt (1-21 off four) got Tahlia McGrath, the world's No.1 T20 batter, caught behind for just two.