WPL 2024: Perry delivers all-round show, bowlers hold their nerves to help RCB seal WPL final with DC

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NEW DELHI: Royal Challengers Bangalore with nerves of steel knocked defending champions Mumbai Indians out of the ongoing Women’s Premier League with a five-run win at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Friday.

RCB who were on the back foot for most of the game, but their ability to keep the run rate in check proved to be a major factor in their success. With this win, RCB will face Delhi Capitals in the final of the second season of the Women’s Premier League on Sunday.

Coming to the 136-run chase, RCB’s refusal to give up made this one of the games of the season. Unlike the previous games, Mumbai failed to get off to a flying start as they amassed just 37 runs in the powerplay and lost Hayley Matthews.

Yastika Bhatia looked rustic as Ellyse Perry cleaned up the opener for 19. Nat Sciver-Brunt and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur momentarily got together but Wareham dismissed the former to put MI in a precarious position.

Harmanpreet continued to keep the scoreboard ticking with Amelia Kerr on the other end. Both batters brought up the 50-run stand. But RCB bounced back with Shreyanka Patil removing the MI skipper for 33(30) to raise RCB’s hopes of mounting a comeback.

In the final three overs, MI failed to strike a single boundary and lost three wickets which played a crucial role in their defeat. With 16 runs needed in the final 2 overs, Kerr and Sajana relied on rotating the strike.

With 12 runs needed in the final over, boundaries were expected but Asha Sobhana’s precise length kept things tight and sealed a five-run win to send RCB to the final.

Electing to bat first, Royal Challengers Bangalore started well with openers Smriti Mandhana and Sophie Devine displaying attacking intent from first over, smashing pacer Shabnim Ismail for three fours.

However, the Red and Gold team met with resistance with Hayley Matthews cleaning up Devine’s off-stump for just 10. Later, Smriti was caught by Ismail at deep cover for just 10 runs, with Nat-Sciver Brunt getting the wicket. Disha Kasat was also dismissed by Saika Ishaque, with Pooja Vastrakar taking a catch. RCB was 23/3 in 3.4 overs.

Ellyse Perry and Richa Ghosh, both in-form batters, had to rebuild for RCB.

RCB ended the powerplay in six overs at the score of 34/3, with both batters unbeaten at six each.

Just when both were looking to have settled down, Sciver took a skier to dismiss Richa for a 19-ball 14-run knock, giving Hayley her second wicket. RCB was 49/4 in 9.1 overs.

Halfway through, RCB was 51/4, with Perry (14*) and Sophie Molineux (1*) unbeaten. Perry was showing calculated aggression from one end and Sophie held the other end steady.

The partnership between these two batters was cut short after Nat got her second wicket and clean-bowled Sophie for 11 in 17 balls. RCB was 84/5 in 15 overs.

RCB reached the 100-run mark in 16.4 overs. Perry punished Ismail in the 17th over, hitting her for two fours. The Australian star reached her second fifty of the tournament in 40 balls, with five fours and a six.

Georgia Wareham and Perry put on a solid partnership. Perry was caught by Nat Sciver for 66 in 50 balls, with eight fours and a six. RCB was 126/6 in 19.2 overs.

RCB ended things on a high, with Wareham smashing a crackling six on the final ball. RCB ended their innings at 135/6, with Wareham (18* in 10 balls, with a four and six) and Shreyanka Patil (3*) unbeaten. The team managed to score 51 runs in the final five overs.

Hayley and Sciver (2/18 each in four overs) and Ishaque (2/27) were among the wickets for MI.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore: 135/6 in 20 overs (Ellyse Perry 60, Georgia Wareham 18*, Hayley Matthews 2/18) vs Mumbai Indians: 130/6 in 20 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 33, Amelia Kerr 27, Shreyanka Patil 2/16). (ANI)

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