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WPL 2024 Final: Smriti Mandhana Leads RCB to Maiden Title, Beat Delhi Capitals

WPL 2024: Shreyanka Patil and Sophie Molineux were the key architects of Royal Challengers Bangalore's epic triumph.

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Cricket
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Royal Challengers Bangalore won their maiden title, courtesy of their women's team led Smriti Mandhana, who defeated Delhi Capitals in what was a one-sided final match of the 2024 Women's Premier League (WPL), contested in Delhi's Arun Jaitley Stadium. Having bowled the Capitals out for only 113 runs, RCB chased the total down at the expense of merely two wickets, securing an eight-wicket triumph.

Winning the toss, Delhi Capitals had an excellent start, with their opening pair complementing one another. Whilst skipper Meg Lanning was holding the fort from one end, Shafali Verma played the aggressive shots to hand the Capitals an early advantage.

The 64-run opening stand was broken by left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux, in the first delivery of the eighth over. The over also turned out to be the turning point of the match, as in the next five deliveries, two Delhi batters – Jemimah Rodrigues and Alice Capsey – lost their wickets.

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The mass exodus of Delhi batters continued as from 64/0, they were bowled out for only 113 runs. Following Sophie Molineux’s three wickets, Shreyanka Patil led the Bangalore resurgence by scalping four wickets.

Chasing just 114, Smriti Mandhana and Sophie Devine took their time to make 25 runs in the Power-play, including hitting three boundaries collectively off Marizanne Kapp.

RCB got the momentum they waited for in the seventh over when Sophie swept twice off Radha Yadav and then danced down the pitch to hit the left-arm spinner for a six in the 18-run over. But her knock ended on 32 in the ninth over when she played all around a nip-backer from Shikha Pandey to be trapped lbw.

Though the runs dried up for RCB, Smriti and Ellyse kept the chase in control by going slow and looking at a chance to up the ante. They got the opportunity when Ellyse pulled Arundhati Reddy for a boundary, while Smriti timed a drive exquisitely past the backward point for another four in the 13th over.

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Ellyse then lofted Jess Jonassen over mid-off for four but lost Smriti to Minnu Mani, who was beaten in flight while going for the loft and holed out to mid-on. Ellyse and Richa Ghosh rotated strike briefly before the latter cut Minnu through point for four.

Ellyse pulled Jess through mid-wicket for four and then swept Alice Capsey past fine leg for another boundary to take RCB closer to victory. Richa sealed the deal for RCB when she lofted Arundhati over mid-off for four, sparking jubilant celebrations in the camp and in the entire Bengaluru city on winning the WPL 2024 trophy.

(With inputs from IANS)

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