WPL 2024: Ellyse Perry stars again in RCB vs MI eliminator


RCB on the way to the WPL finals (Credit: wplt20.com)



















The WPL 2024 eliminator between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians was a nail-biter in the truest sense of the word. Going down to the wire, the match could have ended in either team’s favour. At no point in the game, could you tell who was going to win until the very end when RCB got the upper hand over the first season’s champions. Thanks to an extraordinary and outrageous knock by Ellyse Perry in the first innings, followed by the combined efforts of the bowling unit, RCB lived to see the final day in the tournament.

Ellyse Perry saves the day

Australian all-rounder Perry seems to be in red hot form against MI. The last time the two teams met, Perry bowled her career-best figures by scalping 6 wickets and giving away only 15 runs. Not only that, she later also played a match-winning 40-run knock. This time around, things weren’t so simple. Even though RCB won the toss first, they made a bold decision to put themselves to bat first.

After an unlikely toss decision, it seemed like the risk didn’t pay off as RCB only managed to put 135 runs on the scoreboard. Perry was the saviour of the batting line-up, scoring 66 runs in 50 balls. The rest of the batting lineup did not stand up to the challenge, scoring a cumulative of 66 runs, the same as Perry’s contribution alone. But alas, the all-rounder could not hold the fort any longer, while trying to hit a big shot, Perry handed the ball to the fielder at deep mid-wicket. With her efforts, RCB were able to get to a respectable total in tricky conditions for battng.

Ishaque, Sciver-Brunt and Matthews cause mayhem

The best part of MI’s bowling attack tonight was that they did not let any batter (except Perry) get comfortable on the crease. In tandem, the bowlers constantly deprived them of runs and forced them to make errors. The fall of wickets started in the second over with Matthews bowling out Sophie Devine. From the other end, Nat Sciver-Brunt struck in the third over, sending skipper Mandhana back to the pavilion.

In the fourth over, it was Saika Ishaque’s turn to scalp a wicket. The wickets may have stopped falling for a few overs but the pressure was certainly building, with Sophie Molineux giving in to Nat once again as she rattled the stumps. And finally Ishaque got the dangerous Perry to walk back to the pavilion.

Hayley Matthews 2/18
Nat Sciver Brunt 2/18
Saika Ishaque 2/27

Shreyanka Patil turns the tide around

After being handed a decent total to chase, it seemed like the MI batting line-up had really started going, only until Shreyanka turned up with the ball. Matthews looked good and had already built a 27-run first-wicket partnership with Yastika Bhatia. Knowing how dangerous the duo can be, it was crucial for RCB to break the partnership and luckily the young all-rounder did the job for them.

Later, when victory started slipping away from RCB’s grasp as Kaur and Kerr started racking up runs, it was Shreyanka who proved her mettle with the ball once again. She scalped the all-important wicket of the MI skipper and completely turned the game in RCB’s favour. A special mention here also goes to RCB’s wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh who kept her calm and stumped the last two batters, who could have very well gotten MI over the line.

Amelia Kerr and Harmanpreet Kaur’s efforts go in vain

Even though MI ended up on the losing side, it is important to look back on Amelia Kerr and the skipper’s partnership. The two looked united to the cause of taking their franchise to the finals. The duo stitched the highest partnership from the team scoring 52 runs in 44 balls. Kaur went back to the pavilion with 33 runs to her name off 30 balls while Amelia Kerr stood till the very end to score 27* (25). 

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