Millennium Post (Kolkata)

RCB women clinch first-ever WPL title, end franchise's 16-year wait for trophy

- OUR CORRESPOND­ENT

In a thrilling Women's Premier League final on Sunday, the Royal Challenger­s Bangalore (RCB) women's team ended their 16-year title drought by securing an eightwicke­t victory over the Delhi Capitals (DC). The match, held in front of a packed stadium, saw RCB lift their first-ever trophy.

The DC team was all out for 113, thanks to the exceptiona­l bowling by spin duo Shreyanka Patil (4/12) and Sophie Molineux (3/20). RCB chased the target with ease, led by their captain Smriti Mandhana (31), Sophie Devine (32), and Elysse Perry (35 not out), scoring 115

for two in 19.3 overs.

The victory sparked celebratio­ns at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, in the dressing room, and among thousands of fans in Bangalore. RCB supporters, who had endured years of disappoint­ment and social media mockery, finally had a reason to celebrate. The team, which had only made it to the finals thrice in 2009, 2011, and 2016, now has a trophy to their name.

However, the DC team, captained by Meg Lanning, will be disappoint­ed at missing the opportunit­y to improve on their runners-up position from the 2023 WPL. In contrast, RCB significan­tly improved on their fourth-place finish from the previous year.

RCB began their chase cautiously, with Mandhana and Devine contributi­ng 49 runs in 8.1 overs. The pace slowed down after Devine's dismissal, but Perry stepped up in the 13th over, hitting boundaries and keeping the scoreboard ticking. Mandhana's dismissal kept the contest alive, but Perry and Richa Ghosh (17 not out) ensured RCB's victory, reaching the target in 19.3 overs.

The RCB spinners also deserve credit for their role in the victory. DC, who were at 64 for no loss in 43 balls, lost 10 wickets for just 49 runs. Molineux initiated the DC collapse, taking three wickets in the eighth over. Despite a promising start by Lanning (23 off 23) and Shafali Verma (44 off 27), DC couldn't recover from the loss of wickets and ended up with a total of 113.

The final match was a festive occasion, with fans filling the stadium and cheering for their favourite teams. In the end, the RCB team, known for their red and gold colours, emerged as the popular winners.

 ?? PTI ?? Royal Challenger­s Bangalore players with the trophy in New Delhi
PTI Royal Challenger­s Bangalore players with the trophy in New Delhi

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