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RCB wins its first title thanks to spinners and Perry.

RCB wins its first title thanks to spinners and Perry.

A week ago today, Richa Ghosh was sitting immobile on the ground after getting run out on the final ball in a thrilling match that saw Delhi Capitals defeat Royal Challengers Bangalore by one run. Ghosh’s batting partner Shreyanka Patil wept uncontrollably across the other end. The playoffs for RCB have been extremely close.

Ghosh scored the game-winning runs on Sunday night to help RCB win their first-ever WPL title. Meanwhile, Shreyanka claimed four wickets, including Meg Lanning, to earn the Purple Cap for taking the most wickets in the season. while being advised against it by doctors, Shreyanka entered the Eliminator and the championship match while having a hairline fracture.

She forced herself to play through pain when it counted.

She led the squad’s dance routines on the podium as the team celebrated in front of a jam-packed Arun Jaitley Stadium. One of the people who was persuaded to shake a leg was the captain, Smriti Mandhana.

“Perhaps it will take some time for the feeling to sink in,” Mandhana remarked during the post-match press conference. “At the moment, it’s difficult to come out with many expressions. I just have one thing to say: I’m really proud of this group. We’ve seen highs and lows, so it was incredible to see how they pulled together to bring us through the ordeal.”

Mandhana oversaw five losses to start the competition last year, crushing RCB’s chances of making the playoffs. She failed to record even one half-century during the event, making it one to forget. This time, she finishes behind Ellyse Perry as the second-highest run scorer.

Her final-inning 39-ball 31 supported RCB’s meager 114-run chase. They only needed a respectable 32 off 30 balls after she was dismissed, which Perry and Ghosh achieved with three balls remaining.
Mandhana reminisced on their campaign, saying, “The Bangalore leg was really good, we won three out of five, but in Delhi we had two tough losses.” We discussed how our previous three games resembled the quarters, semifinal, and championship.

It was our duty to act promptly. We may have reserved our best for last in competitions like these when you have to peak at the appropriate moment.”

The team’s poor performance at bat and their fourth-place result out of five teams made Mandhana’s lean run at bat necessary, therefore an off-season structural review was required. Mandhana had a crucial role in it. One of the most important choices was to choose Luke Williams as the new head coach.

Mandhana had suggested Williams, an assistant coach at Southern Brave with whom she had previously worked. Among the important additions the squad made at the auction were Sophie Molineux and Georgia Wareham.

When Molineux took three wickets in her second over, the Delhi Capitals collapsed from 64 for 0 to 64 for 3. That proved to be a game-changing moment. That caused momentum to completely collapse.

“We learned a lot from last year,” Mandhana said in reflection. “As captain and player, we discussed what went well and what didn’t go well. When I approached the management following the event, they supported my suggestions. They responded, “This is your team; create it however you see fit.” It’s been incredible. They’ve also experienced a lot, so it’s incredibly thrilling for them to receive this trophy.”

The WPL victory was a moment that Mandhana ranked “definitely in my top five.”

“I believe it’s much more for RCB,” she remarked.

said she. “The squad won the trophy; I’m not the only one who did. It is quite remarkable for a franchise to win it. Though it hasn’t really registered yet, it seems like one of the top five moments. A World Cup victory will undoubtedly surpass it.”

Mandhana hesitated for a moment before thanking the devoted fan base of the series as she was ready to take the prize. “There is one thing we’ve heard repeatedly: ‘Ee Sala Cup Namde.’ Now, I would want to say, “Ee Sala Cup Namdu.”

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