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WPL 2024: RCB & UPW have exemplified the spirit of resilience & redemption

WPL 2024: RCB Women & UP Warriorz have exemplified the spirit of resilience & redemption. RCB qualified for finals and UP finished the talley at number 4.


WPL 2024_RCB Women and UP Warriorz shown great improvement  _ Walking Wicket (©X_Twitter)
WPL 2024: RCB and UP Warriorz shown great improvement (Images: ©X/Twitter)

In the dynamic realm of cricket, where fortunes fluctuate and legends rise, the Women's Premier League (WPL) has been a stage for both redemption and resilience. This season, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and UP Warriorz (UPW) have exemplified these qualities, each carving out a unique path to glory. 


However, both teams have come across contrasting fortunes where one team has reached the final, the other knocked out from the league stage of the tournament. The only thing common for both teams was the performance of their experienced players. Let's delve into what has gone well for the team which has bettered their performance this season. 


RCB's Journey to Redemption

RCB's transformation from a struggling team to a formidable force in the WPL has been nothing short of remarkable. Spearheading this resurgence is their skipper, Smriti Mandhana, who rediscovered her form with a staggering 269 runs at an impressive average of 29.88 and a formidable strike rate of 145.40. Mandhana's leadership prowess and consistent batting performances, including two crucial half-centuries, have been instrumental in RCB's success this season.


Ellyse Perry, the versatile all-rounder, has been another linchpin for RCB. Leading the run charts with 312 runs in just eight matches at an astonishing average of 62.40 and a strike rate of 130.54, Perry's contributions with both bat and ball have been pivotal. Her standout innings, a crucial half-century under pressure against defending champions Mumbai Indians, showcased her ability to thrive in high-stakes encounters.


RCB's bowling department has also witnessed a surge in performance, thanks to Perry’s historic six-wicket haul against Mumbai Indians. This exceptional feat not only secured RCB's spot in the knockout stage but also highlighted the team's depth in bowling options. Leg-spin sensation Asha Shobana further bolstered the bowling attack with her consistent wicket-taking ability, claiming 10 wickets, including a memorable fifer against UP Warriorz.


The inclusion of Georgia Wareham, with her all-around prowess, added another dimension to RCB's lineup. Wareham's ability to score quick runs lower down the order and contribute with effective leg-spin bowling made her a valuable asset for the team's success. Her contributions with the bat and ball have been invaluable. She has scored 111 runs at a strike rate of 163.23 in nine matches batting at number seven. Her 18 off 10 balls which includes a last-ball six to finish the eliminator ended up as match-winning runs. The team won by five runs and secured a place in the summit clash. She also has seven wickets to her credit so far in the tournament. 


Beyond individual brilliance, RCB's strategic approach, tactical acumen, and collective effort as a squad have been instrumental in their rise as title contenders. With a blend of experience and emerging talent, RCB have showcased resilience and determination throughout the season, captivating fans and pundits alike with their remarkable turnaround.



UP Warriorz: A Tale of Promise and Improvement

While UP Warriorz may not have had the most successful run this season, they displayed moments of brilliance and promise in finishing second last in the points table. Senior players like Deepti Sharma, Alyssa Healy, Grace Harris, and Sophie Ecclestone stood out with their performances, despite the team's overall struggles.


Deepti Sharma emerged as UPW's leading run-scorer, amassing 295 runs at a phenomenal average of 98.33 and a brisk strike rate of 136.57. Her consistent contributions with the bat, including three half-centuries, showcased her class and determination.


Alyssa Healy, despite facing challenges and lacking support from the other end, managed to score 175 runs at a respectable strike rate of 117.45. Her half-century against RCB demonstrated her ability to perform under pressure.


Grace Harris, known for her explosive hitting, made valuable contributions with both bat and ball, accumulating 188 runs at an average of 31.33 and an impressive strike rate of 136.23. She also showcased her bowling prowess with four wickets at an impressive economy of 6.89. in the seven matches this season. It is also important to note that she has bowled only 107 balls i.e. 17.5 overs. 


Sophie Ecclestone was one of the top 10 expensive buys of the inaugural WPL auction as she was snapped up by UP Warriorz for INR 1.8 crore and then was retained by the franchise for the second season as well. Ecclestone, a key asset in UPW's bowling arsenal, picked up 11 wickets at an impressive average of 18.81 and an economy rate of 6.57. Her game intelligence and skills were evident, although the team faced challenges in the pace department.


While UP Warriorz fell short of playoff qualification, the performances of their senior players underscored their potential and determination. With lessons learned and areas identified for improvement, UPW will look to regroup and come back stronger in the next season of the WPL.



Conclusion

The contrasting journeys of RCB and UPW in the Women's Premier League highlight the essence of sports - resilience, determination, and the pursuit of excellence. RCB's resurgence, fueled by individual brilliance and collective effort, positions them as strong contenders for the championship. 


On the other hand, UP Warriorz showcased promise and improvement despite challenges, setting the stage for a compelling narrative in future seasons. As the WPL unfolds, the cricketing world awaits to witness more captivating performances and inspiring stories from these teams and their players.


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