Delhi Capitals and RCB ready for last dance of WPL 2024

Image: WPL

After a resoundingly successful second edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), the highly anticipated final showdown has arrived. This time around, the tournament was bigger than ever – larger crowds and tougher challenges. Delhi Capitals (DC), playing on their home turf, face off against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. With tickets sold out and fans queuing up hours before the match starts to get a glimpse of their favourite players, the WPL final is set up to be a massive success.

The Meg Lanning-led Capitals have been the most successful franchise this year. Beaten finalists last season, they made it to the top of the points table and into the finals after their commanding streak in the group stage. Reflecting on their journey so far, it has been a rollercoaster. They started off on a high, hit a slump but got back on their feet in time to finish ahead of the pack. On the other hand, RCB have been through the wringer and have struggled with consistency. But after a brilliant couple of matches against Mumbai Indians, they find themselves in the final for the first time.

When we look at the head-to-head matches of the two teams, it is quite telling that DC have been the more successful side among the two. In the first match they played against each other at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, DC put up an impressive total of 194-5. Behind it were the efforts of Shafali Verma, Alice Capsey, Marizanne Kapp and Jess Jonassen. All four have been in superb form throughout the tournament.

Although RCB’s bowlers, including Nadine de Klerk (who came into the XI as a replacement for Ellyse Perry) and Sophie Devine, scalped a couple wickets each, DC were in complete control. Despite skipper Smriti Mandhana’s valiant 74, RCB lost wickers regularly and could not make it past the finish line. Jonassen stepped in once again and scalped three wickets to secure DC the win. Kapp and Arundhati Reddy took two apiece.

Their second clash, although a close finish, also went in favour of the Delhi franchise. As the tournament moved to its second location at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, DC opted to bat first and scored 181-5. The total was bolstered by Jemimah Rodrigues’ 58 and Capsey’s rapid 48. RCB’s young gun, Shreyanka Patil, impressed with a four wicket-haul but her efforts went in vain. Richa Ghosh scored a fiery 51 off 29 balls but despite her efforts, DC prevailed by a run. Kapp, Capsey, Reddy, and Shikha Pandey each contributed a wicket for Delhi.

Coming back to the final, the pitch is expected to be a brand new one. Delhi has had high-scoring pitches for the tournament so far, and the same will be expected on Sunday night. Winning the toss may not be a crucial factor in deciding the victor, as games have gone either way at the fag end of the tournament.

A few players will be in the spotlight, carrying the weight of their franchises on their shoulders – especially Perry and Lanning, once Australia teammates. Perry single-handedly ensured that RCB went into the Eliminator with a six-wicket haul and a 40-run knock. In the Eliminator, she was once again the saviour, scoring 66 runs in the backdrop of a batting collapse.

She has stolen the spotlight, the orange cap and the hearts of millions of fans around the globe with her spirited performances and all eyes will undoubtedly be on her. Mandhana will be expected to be the pillar of the batting line-up and also come up with tactics to disrupt DC’s dominance. When it comes to DC, Lanning, Shafali, Kapp and Jemimah are in red-hot form. With Lanning’s chill vibes and masterful captaincy on the field, it will be no easy task to defeat the home team.

As the stage is set for this epic clash between bat and ball, one thing’s for sure: whether you’re a die-hard fan or a casual observer, buckle up and get ready for a rollercoaster ride and some nail-biting cricket action. Because, in the world of the WPL, anything can happen.


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