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Ian Chadband

Captain Lanning, Jonassen star in Delhi WPL triumph

Meg Lanning has enhanced her status as the top run-scorer in Women's Premier League annals as her first half-century of the season helped the Delhi Capitals beat Beth Mooney's winless Gujarat Giants and go top of the ladder.

The former Australia skipper was also grateful to her one-time international teammate Jess Jonassen, whose 3-22 proved instrumental in ensuring the Capitals eased home by 25 runs in Bengaluru on Sunday (Monday AEDT).

It was another miserable afternoon for Mooney, whose lean streak with the bat continued with an innings of 12 before Jonassen trapped her lbw and the Giants went on to succumb to a fourth straight defeat. 

Lanning - who gave up the Australia captaincy but has retained her hunger to win women's cricket's biggest league after losing in last year's final - was the orange cap winner as the WPL's top scorer in its inaugural season.

And the 31-year-old opener is now just five runs shy of fellow Aussie Grace Harris's leading total of 153 in this year's edition after she scored 55 off 41 balls, featuring half-a-dozen fours and a six, to provide a fine launchpad for the Capitals' 8-163 after Mooney had opted to field.

Lanning was miffed she didn't make even more after slapping a loose one to cover. 

"Would have loved to have gone on for longer," she said.

Jonassen was not selected for the first match of the season but made herself indispensable with a fine allround display in the win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the week.

She took a second straight three-wicket haul to win the player of the match award as the Giants stuttered to 8-138.

Only some formidable late hitting from Australia's Ash Gardner, who thumped 40 off 31 balls, gave Lanning any concern. 

But Jonassen tempted Gardner into one wild swing too many and had her stumped in the game's decisive moment.  

"I'm surprised I am up here (with the player of the match award) but happy with the win," Jonassen said. 

"Meg knows me very well, she knows I love the ball in my hand at any point. I pride myself on my ability to do that."

Having edged ahead of champions Mumbai at the top of the table, Lanning is now happy to return to Delhi, where the tournament will next be based after its initial phase in Bengaluru.

"Looking forward to playing in front of our fans. It's a good challenge for us and we are excited about it," she said. 

The Capitals next face Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday.

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