WPL 2024: Bowlers star as RCB pull off 5-run win over MI; to meet DC in final

New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) Bowlers, led by Shreyanka Patil’s 2-18, helped the Royal Challengers Bangalore pull off a stunning five-run win over defending champions Mumbai Indians in the WPL 2024 Eliminator at the Arun Jaitley Stadium here on Friday.

After Ellyse Perry’s magnificent 66 took RCB to 135/6 in 20 overs, she played a key role in stemming the run-flow and taking out Yastika Bhatia. Shreyanka was economical in her spell and took out captain Harmanpreet Kaur in the 18th over, which tilted the game in RCB’s favour.

It means RCB will now meet Delhi Capitals in the title clash on Sunday to determine the new WPL champions. Chasing 136, Yastika and Hayley Matthews hit four boundaries between themselves, including the former getting a reprieve due to a dropped catch in the fourth over. The crowd erupted when Hayley slog-swept straight to deep mid-wicket off Shreyanka Patil.

RCB kept MI quiet for the rest of the Power-play, though Yastika struck two well-timed off-side boundaries and later found support from Nat Sciver-Brunt, who paddle-swept and pulled for a brace of fours. The crowd again erupted in unison when Ellyse Perry got one to come in and uproot Yastika’s leg stump. Harmanpreet Kaur could have been out for a diamond duck if not for a small part of her bat being after the line.

Sciver-Brunt pulled and slog-swept Georgia Wareham for two fours before the leg-spinner bounced back by castling the right-handed batter. Harmanpreet and Amelia Kerr had to be content with rotating the strike, with the skipper getting boundaries in between to keep MI in the hunt.

Harmanpreet got more boundaries for MI by scooping over the keeper’s head and lofting in the gap between mid-wicket and mid-on for a brace of fours. Amelia joined the boundary-hitting act by swivelling and pulling in the mid-wicket area to take two fours off Georgia. Harmanpreet had a reprieve at the start of the 18th over when Richa Ghosh missed a stumping off Shreyanka, but the off-spinner had the last laugh by having the batter hole out to long-on to close the over.

With 16 runs needed off the last 12 balls, the pressure was on MI, under which it wilted. Sajana Sajeevan was stumped off Sophie Molineux, while Pooja Vastrakar got out in the same fashion against Asha Sobhana in the last over, as RCB gave away only 14 runs in the last three overs to enter the WPL final for the first time.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore 135/6 in 20 overs (Ellyse Perry 66; Hayley Matthews 2-18, Nat Sciver-Brunt 2-18) beat Mumbai Indians 130/6 in 20 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 33, Amelia Kerr 27 not out; Shreyanka Patil 2-16, Asha Sobhana 1-13) by five runs.



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