By – Shubhendra Singh Rajawat

Sophie Molineux’s game-changing over transformed the WPL 2024 final between RCB and DC into a low-scoring affair.

When Meg Lanning and Co. faced Smriti Mandhana’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024 final at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Sunday, the in-form Delhi Capitals (DC) were hoping for a second chance. RCB defeated defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Eliminator at the same location, securing a date with hosts Delhi Capitals. The Delhi Capitals’ four-match unbeaten streak versus RCB was on the line in the just finished summit showdown, after finishing second in the first season.

After winning the toss and deciding to bat first, DC fell apart after an encouraging start against RCB in the WPL final. In the first 43 balls of the innings, hosts Delhi scored 64 runs without losing. The tables were reversed for the Delhi Capitals when Australia’s left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux took three wickets in a single over. RCB’s Sophie turned the tie on its head by scoring Shafali Verma’s (44) jackpot on the first ball of the seventh over.

A bit later, she gave starlet Jemimah Rodrigues a golden duck. DC’s Alice Capsey replicated Rodrigues’ achievement when she was cleaned up by Molineux on the first ball. Off-spinner Shreyanka Patil took four wickets and let only 12 runs in the middle and late overs, ensuring a low-scoring final. Asha Sobhana took two wickets to help DC be all out for 113 in 18.3 overs, adding to Patil (4) and Molineux (3) contributions.

Leading RCB’s run chase in the final, skipper Mandhana (31) and Sophie Devine put on a 49-run stand for the first wicket. Shikha Pandey dismissed Devine for 32 off 27 balls, and Minnu Mani stopped Mandhana’s attempt to reach a match-winning half-century in the 14th over. Unbeaten innings from Australian superstars Ellyse Perry and Richa Ghosh led RCB to an 8-wicket victory against DC in the final.

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