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WPL 2024: Perry, Shreyanka and Richa among architects of Mandhana-led RCB’s maiden title victory

WPL 2024: Ellyse Perry, Shreyanka Patil and Richa Ghosh among architects of Smiriti Mandhana-led RCB’s maiden title victory.

WPL 2024: RCB Women beat Delhi Capitals women in WPL 2024 final | Walking Wicket (©rcbtweets_Twitter)
WPL 2024: RCB beat Delhi Capitals in WPL 2024 final (Images: ©RCBtweets/Twitter)

A boundary, carved over extra cover, from Richa Ghosh carried the Royal Challengers Bangalore Women (RCBW) to their maiden trophy in the Women’s Premier League (WPL). They finished fourth in the inaugural season last year. This year they turned the table and grabbed the title against Delhi Capitals Women (DCW).

RCBW began their campaign on a positive note with two successive victories. But four defeats in the next five games made the road difficult for them. In a virtual knockout game, they blew away Mumbai Indians Women (MIW) and snatched another win from their jaws in the Eliminator to earn the ticket to the final. 

The ‘Red Army’ played the entire season as a team. Three of their batters and bowlers were among the top 10 highest run-getters and wicket-takers of the season respectively. Their ability to hold their nerves in crunch situations with crystal clear planning stood out. 

Let’s take a look at the top five architects of RCB’s maiden WPL title win in WPL 2024

Ellyse Perry stole the limelight with 347 runs and 7 wickets

By the penultimate league game of RCBW, Ellyse Perry had a decent tournament, with one fifty against UP Warriorz. But as the big games came, she caught attention with her all-round performances. The veteran all-rounder blew away Mumbai’s batting line-up with record figures of 6/15 in her four overs. Later, she stayed unbeaten on 40 to carry her team over the line. 

In the Eliminator against the same side, Perry stood at one end almost till the end. RCBW were losing wickets regularly from the other end. But the 33-year-old from Australia managed a match-winning 66-run knock in 50 balls, helping her team secure a narrow five-run win. 

Even in the final, she remained until the end for her 35* run knock, to earn the ‘Orange Cap’ with 347 runs in nine games at an average of 69.4 and a strike rate of 125.72. She jeweled her record with a couple of half centuries. She also picked up seven wickets at an economy of 6.81. 

Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023_ Smriti Mandhana captains Royal Challengers Bangalore Women in WPL 2023_ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©RCBTweets_Twitter)
Smriti Mandhana led RCB Women to the maiden title (Images: ©RCBTweets/Twitter)
Smriti Mandhana led from the front with a 300-run season

One of the reasons for RCBW’s horrible opening season was Smriti Mandhana’s poor tournament. In eight innings of WPL 2023, the left-handed opener collected just 149 runs in eight innings at an average of 18.62 and a strike rate of just 111.19. This year, she looked more focused and confident. 

Her bowling changes at the crucial juncture of the game, the right field placements, changes in the batting line-up, every single decision from the captain was on point. She also showed the aggressive nature of her batting with 300 runs in 10 innings at an average of 30 and a strike rate of 133.92, with two fifties. She finished as the fourth-highest run-getter of the season. Mandhana played a massive role in RCB’s maiden title win. 

Richa Ghosh played the ‘Game-changing’ role with a 141.98 strike rate in the season

The vital job for any batting line-up is to have a great finisher, and Richa Ghosh played that job brilliantly. Unlike the last season, she got a promotion in the middle order and looked to take on the bowlers from the beginning. In RCBW’s very first game of the season, the Bengal girl stormed a 62-run knock in 37 balls with 12 boundaries. 

Even in their game against DCW, the 20-year-old almost carried her side to victory with a masterclass 51-run knock off 29 balls. She missed out on the last ball to find her team in a heart-breaking one-run loss. Richa ended the season with 257 runs in 10 innings at a strike rate of 141.98 with two half-centuries. 

Shreyanka Patil earned ‘Purple Cap’ with 13 wickets 

Shreyanka Patil had an underwhelming beginning to the season. In her very first game against UP Warriorz, she went for 32 runs in three overs without picking a wicket. Against Gujarat Giants (GG), she conceded 13 runs in a single over. Against DCW, she gave away 40 runs in her three overs. But as the tournament progressed, the 21-year-old off-spinner buckled up. 

After her two-game break due to a hand injury, she looked in a different shape. With four wickets for 26 runs in four overs, Patil regained her confidence. Even in the final against the same opponent, she returned with 4/12 in 3.2 overs. She won the ‘Purple Cap’ with 13 scalps in eight innings at an economy of 7.30. 

Asha Sobhana put spin web with a 12-wicket season

In her very first game against UP, Asha Sobhana caught the limelight with a five-wicket haul. Her ability to turn the ball off the surface deserves a lot of credit. The Kerala girl turned the game in RCBW’s favour with three wickets in one single over. 

Sobhana was remarkably consistent throughout the season. The 32-year-old veteran returned with 2/14 in three overs against the Capitals during the final. She finished as the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 12 wickets in 10 innings at an economy of 7.11. 

With the end of WPL 2024, another Indian Cricketing festival is on the cards for the fans. The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 is set to begin on March 22 with Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore meeting at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai for the opener. 

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