Millennium Post (Kolkata)

WPL: DC look to win maiden title after falling short last year

Delhi Capitals have been in superb form this year, topping the five-team league standings with 12 points from eight matches


NEW DELHI: In-form Delhi Capitals, led by the inspiratio­nal Meg Lanning, would hope to be second time lucky and lift their maiden Women’s Premier League title when they take on a plucky Royal Challenger­s Bangalore in the summit clash here on Sunday.

After missing out on the title in WPL’s inaugural edition last year, losing by seven wickets to Mumbai Indians in the final, DC looked a rejuvenate­d side this year. DC have been in superb form this year, topping the five-team league standings with 12 points from eight matches.

Lanning has led DC from the front, scoring 308 runs from eight innings, while South African all-rounder Marizanne Kapp and Australian left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen are the highest wicket-takers for the side with 11 scalps each.

DC’s only two defeats this season came against Mumbai Indians UP Warriorz. Leaving aside those two matches, they have enjoyed a near-perfect campaign. Going into the final, they will definitely start as favourites, having never lost to RCB in four meetings.

But having said that, past results will hardly have any significan­ce

in the final. It will be a new day and the the side which can withstand pressure and expectatio­ns will lift the title.

DC will expect the explosive Shafali Verma to provide them with a quick start alongside Lanning. Jemimah Rodrigues has been in fine nick in the middle, but Lanning would expect more contributi­ons from the likes of all-rounders Alice Capsey and Kapp.

On the bowling front, Jonassen has been the star performer but the likes of Kapp and Shikha Pandey too have contribute­d.

Left-arm spinner Radha Yadav has also been effective with 10 wickets and the home team will definitely depend a lot on its spinners in a relatively slow Kotla pitch. RCB, on the other hand, finished third in the league phase after an inconsiste­nt run that yielded eight points from as many games but they clicked when it mattered, knocking out defending champions MI by five runs in the eliminator here on Friday. Allrounder Ellyse Perry will be key to RCB’s success on Sunday as besides being the highest rungetter with 312 runs, the Australian has been impressive with the ball, scalping seven wickets.

If not for Perry’s all-round show against MI on Friday, the result could have been different. She first played a vital 50-ball 66-run knock and then returned with figures of 1/29 to play a key role in RCB’s journey to the final. But Perry would look for more support from the likes of skipper Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Devine, Richa Ghosh and Sophie Molineux with the bat. However if RCB were to stop DC, they would need efforts from their bowlers, especially the likes of Renuka Singh, Shreyanka Patil, Georgia Wareham etc. All in all it promises to be a cracker of a contest with the balance slightly tilted towards hosts DC.


Delhi Capitals:

Taniya Bhatia (wk), Laura Harris, Meg Lanning (c), Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Alice Capsey, Marizanne Kapp, Shikha Pandey, Annabel Sutherland, Jess Jonassen, Minnu Mani, Poonam Yadav, Arundhati Reddy, Titas Sadhu, Radha Yadav, Ashwani Kumari, Aparna Mondal, V Sneha Deepthi.

Royal Challenger­s Bangalore:

Richa Ghosh (wk), Disha Kasat, Smriti Mandhana (c), Sabbhineni Meghana, Indrani Roy, Satheesh Shubha, Heather Knight, Simran Bahadur, Nadine de Klerk, Sophie Devine, Shreyanka Patil, Ellyse Perry, Asha Sobhana, Ekta Bisht, Kate Cross, Sophie Molineux, Shradda Pokharkar, Renuka Singh, Georgia Wareham.

 ?? ?? Shafali Verma & Jemimah Rodrigues
Shafali Verma & Jemimah Rodrigues

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