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WPL 2024: How RCB turned things around this season

WPL 2024: How Royal Challengers Bangalore Women turned things around this season. RCB won their maiden WPL title beating Delhi Capitals in finals.

WPL 2024_ RCB Women beat Delhi Capitals women in WPL 2024 final _ Walking Wicket (©rcbtweets_Twitter)
WPL 2024: RCB Women beat Delhi Capitals women in Finals (©rcbtweets/Twitter)

The Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) tasted their first success in the WPL after winning the second edition. In a closely fought WPL 2024 final, the Smriti Mandhana-led team defeated Delhi Capitals by 8 wickets with just 2 balls to spare.

This was a moment of pure joy for all RCB fans, marking the first time their cherished team achieved glory in their history of franchise cricket, encompassing both men's and women's teams. As we look back, it's time to reflect on the architects of RCB's remarkable turnaround this season, especially considering their forgettable inaugural edition.

Captain Smriti Mandhana led from the front

Smriti Mandhana possesses world-class abilities as a batter, but this WPL showcased her brilliant leadership skills. While she had some of the best overseas stars in Ellyse Perry, Sophie Devine, and Sophie Molineux, the rest of the India contingent were relatively inexperienced barring Richa Ghosh and Renuka Singh.

One of the bold decisions that she took on the field was to give Asha Shobana the final over when MI required 12 runs to win in the 20th over. Mandhana chose the leg spinner who bowled a solitary over until then ahead of the likes of more experienced Sophie Devine and Renuka Singh. This move proved to be a masterstroke as RCB Women won the game by 5 runs and went onto reach the finale which they eventually clinched.

She had to lead this young team and the left-hander led from the front with the bat almost throughout the tournament. The RCB skipper amassed 300 runs in the tournament and finished only behind Ellyse Perry who scored 347 runs. This includes a superlative 50-ball 80 against UP Warriorz in one of the league games. 

More than the runs, the way she instilled belief in this RCB team was inspiring and it played a key role in them going all the way.

Perry and Ghosh show in the middle order

RCB’s batting mainstay throughout the tournament was their senior most all-rounder Ellyse Perry and keeper-batter Richa Ghosh. Fittingly, both were at the crease during RCB’s successful run chase in the final.

The batting pair, either one or both, saved the team from a batting collapse on more than one occasion. While Ghosh’s best albeit coming in a losing cause, was her stunning 29-ball 51 against Delhi Capitals, Perry's masterful 66 in the eliminator downed inaugural champions MI in a tense finish.

It was the same combo which gave RCB two of their most important wins while chasing. One was their unbeaten 76-run stand against MI in a must-win league game and the other was a crucial 33-run stand in the final to clinch the game.

Overall, the pair played a key role in various stages throughout the WPL by scoring 604 runs between them and carrying the largely inexperienced batting line-up. 

RCB spinners’ admirable consistency 

While the pace trio of Ellyse Perry, Sophie Devine and Renuka Singh weren’t getting the success that the team would have liked, the onus fell on spinners to shine. Thankfully, they didn’t disappoint. The trio of Shreyanka Patil, Asha Shobana and Sophie Molineux picked 37 wickets among them as they led the wicket-taking charts in this year’s WPL. 

Shreyanka was impressive especially in big games as she delivered twin 4-wicket performances against Delhi Capitals including one in the finale. While Shobana was one of the two bowlers to pick a 5-fer, the other being Ellyse Perry; Molineux produced a match-winning performance in the final (3/20).


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