Perry and spinners steer RCB to Women’s IPL title

Royal Challengers Bangalore 115 for 2 (Perry 35*, Devine 32) beat Delhi Capitals 113 (Shafali 44, Patil 4-12, Molineux 3-20, Asha 2-14) by eight wickets


Royal Challengers Bangalore claimed their first Women’s Premier League title with an eight-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals in the final in Delhi.

Delhi crumbled from 64-0 to 87-7 and were bowled out for 113 in the 19th over, with Shreyanka Patil taking 4-12.

RCB laboured slightly in their chase of 114 but Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry’s unbeaten 35 helped them reach their target with three balls to spare.

Delhi has lost both finals of the first two WPL tournaments.

The Capitals, led by former Australia captain Meg Lanning, also finished atop last year’s table before being beaten by Mumbai Indians in the inaugural showpiece.

RCB, who beat Mumbai in Friday’s eliminator, have secured a first title for the franchise owners, with the men’s team yet to win the Indian Premier League, having finished runners-up three times.

Ellyse Perry is the Orange Cap holder in WPL 2024•Mar 17, 2024•BCCI

RCB put Delhi in a spin

Delhi made an imperious start after winning the toss at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, with India opener Shafali Verma striking three mighty sixes down the ground as they reached 61-0 off the powerplay.

But Australia slow left-armer Sophie Molineux turned the game by taking three wickets in four balls in the eighth over.

Verma holed out to deep mid-wicket for 44 off 27 balls, Jemimah Rodrigues swiped too early to be bowled two balls later and England all-rounder Alice Capsey also fell for a duck to the next delivery as she missed with a paddle sweep.

RCB’s other spinners prevented any rebuild. Off-spinner Patil trapped Lanning lbw, leg-spinner Asha Sobhana claimed two wickets in three balls when Marizanne Kapp and Jess Jonassen skied catches, and the returning Patil removed Minnu Mani as Delhi lost seven wickets for 23 runs.

Radha Yadav was run out by Molineux’s direct hit to deepen Delhi’s woe before Patil struck twice in two deliveries to end the innings, RCB’s spinners taking nine of the 10 wickets to fall.

Shreyanka Patil starred with four wickets in the final•Mar 17, 2024•Getty Images

Delhi’s spinners failed to have the same impact, with RCB also able to see off their seam attack with relative ease.

Lanning’s side forced a potential way back into the game when Devine fell lbw to Shikha Pandey for 32 off 27, but the experienced Perry continued her superb WPL form to calmly accumulate alongside captain Smriti Mandhana, who made 31 off 39.

RCB stalled after Mandhana was caught off Mani, and still needed five from the final over, but Richa Ghosh smashed a drive over extra cover for four to seal victory. (BBC) 

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