WPL eliminator: Harmanpreet’s MI against Smriti’s RCB

Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana (Credit: wplt20.com)

The second edition of the Women’s Premier League is nearing its end with a blockbuster Royal Challengers Bangalore-Mumbai Indians eliminator. The Meg Lanning-led Delhi Capitals franchise made a head start and booked a spot in the finals. MI (second in the points table) secured a playoff berth with a convincing victory over Gujarat Giants, while RCB clinched their spot with a dominating win against MI in their final league match.

The winner of tonight’s game will go straight into the finals to battle it out against Lanning & Co. to lift the WPL trophy and the pressure will be on! RCB, on a journey to redemption,have a lot to prove, whereas MI will look to defend their hard earned ‘defending champions’ title.

When it comes to the surface at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, it has favoured the batters more. Contrary to expectations, the pitch has been facilitating high-scoring matches. Winning the toss would be important, as it has been proved by the trend this season. Choosing to bowl first would give teams an advantage, especially with the possibility of dew affecting the game later in the evening. Additionally, a total of above 165 would be seen as competitive in these conditions.

Despite losing more matches than MI in their last five games, it’s the momentum of RCB that poses a considerable threat. From their captain, Smriti Mandhana, to star all-rounder Ellyse Perry, the entire squad appears to be in dangerous form. Their recent victory against Harmanpreet Kaur’s team will provide confidence, as they analyse and address their weaknesses.

On the other hand, MI must exercise caution to avoid repeating past struggles and remain wary of Perry, who seems to be in lethal form. It’s the battle of consistency versus momentum at the eliminator tonight.

The reigning champions clinched the second spot on the points table after eight matches, winning five and losing three, gathering a total of 10 points. MI kicked off with an exciting win against Delhi Capitals as S Sajana hit a last-ball six. Throughout the tournament, numerous members of the MI squad have impressed with their performance, but it is the skipper who stood out.

Playing more than a couple of match-saving knocks, including two not-out innings that drove MI to victory, Harmanpreet has led the batting and won four matches with her bat. Yastika Bhatia is another player who has stepped up on multiple occasions, but was missing from the squad in the last game due to a niggle. She is expected to recover in time for tonight’s game.

Will MI edge closer to defending their title, or will the RCB secure their first WPL final appearance?

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