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WPL 2024: For RCB women, now it’s ‘E Sala Cup Namdu’

RCB wins their maiden Trophy thanks to their womens team

The year 2024 is something else. Why not? The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have finally won their maiden Trophy. And it’s not the men’s side, but the women’s team to grab the Women’s Premier League (WPL) trophy in its second edition. It’s their updated anthem of ‘E Sala Cup Namdu.’

For a moment, it felt like there would be a mini earthquake thanks to the unfinished celebrations of their fans. At around 5 in the afternoon, the Delhi metro was totally jam packed. No prize to guess whose fans were of the lion’s share.

One couldn’t even hear someone’s screaming in the station. The whole chanting was the famous few words of the ‘Play Bold’ army, which is ‘E Sala Cup Namde!” A few supporters of the Delhi Capitals did their best to put their loudest voice. Still, in the wild guess, it detected like a drop of pin among a huge crowd.

RCB's winning 11 in the final against DC
Picture Credit: RCB & Muthu
RCB and their new season strategy of being crystal clear on planning

It was a horrible beginning in the WPL for them. RCB lost their first five back-to back games in 2023 and for a moment it felt like, will they even win one?

They finally began their account with successive victories over UP Warriorz and Gujrat Giants. The issue for them was losing the vital moments, and not being sure of their planning and preparation, as their men have been doing for all these years.

The 30% of the new season in 2024 was on how the teams would take lessons. RCB did a brilliant job in understanding their weakness and how to fill them with exact few players. The biggest and perhaps the best buy for RCB was Australia’s Sophie Molineux for INR 30 lakh. The left-arm spinner finished as the second highest wicket taker with 12 scalps in 10 games.

Her partner in the department, Shreyanka Patil ended the season as the ‘Purple cap holder’ with 13 wickets in eight games at an average of just 12.08. Her economy was 7.30. Asha Sobhana also notched up 12 wickets in 10 games. That makes three RCB bowlers in the top two of the wickets list of the WPL 2024.

In the runs column, Ellyse Perry snatched the ‘Orange Cap’ with 347 runs in nine innings at a strike rate of 125.72 with couple of fifties. The captain, Smriti Mandhana, herself captured 300 runs at a strike rate of 133.92. Perry’s role felt like a crane, as she literally carried RCB to the champions on her own. 6/15 and 40* against Mumbai Indians in their last league game, before following it with 66 and 1/29 against the same side to 35* to stay till the end in the final, Perry displayed why she is called the ‘Big Game Player’.

One of the other positives of the season for them was the captaincy of Mandhana. She was cool in nervy moments, and never looked unsettled with her decisions. Totally crustal clear and firm were her plannings, and the belief was so strong on her players.

Delhi Capitals and the story of bottling it up in the last kick

The other day Darren Sammy came out in the press after their loss in the PSL semifinal. One of those journos asked him about their prime consistency of 9 playoffs and 1 trophy. Sammy, the best in the business with two T20 World Cups, shook his head slowly. Quite clearly he narrated how only trophy wins matter the most, and not these boring consistencies.

It’s the same with Delhi Capitals, at least for the women. Two back-to-back finals, and two successive bottling up. By the time, Richa Ghosh hit the winning run for RCB, their fans went nuts in the stands. The camera, in between those player’s interviews, was trying to find Meg Lanning. There she was.

Lanning almost hide her face with the cap. Why? It’s just a loss! Not to someone who doesn’t know the taste of a defeat that much. Not for someone who has 4 T20 World Cups, and one in the 50 overs. It’s just how Ponting used to feel after a defeat. Australia didn’t use to lose that often in their golden period.

But what Lanning would do? Doing great captaincy? Well, defending a small 114 run total, it brought that game that close. A few wickets in the last over, or a dot, and the story could have been different. Well, RCB guys! That’s the amount of choking your men side does.

Ageless Mercedes Anderson & the rarest feat of 700 milestone

What could have Lanning done with the bat? Scoring runs? She did, and ended as the second top run getter of the season with 331 runs in nine innings at a strike rate of 123.04. Even her opening partner, Shafali Verma collected 309 runs at a whooping strike rate of 156.85, the best in the top 20.

Could she have bowled? Nah man! But her bowlers did their job too. Marizanne Kapp became the fourth highest wicket-taker of the season with 11 scalps at an economy of 6.28. The next best at number five was Jess Jonassen with 11 wickets too, as Radha Yadav grabbed 10 wickets.

Then? It’s team game, oh the cliché sentences! But it’s an individual game, only if one went and stayed with other doing the job besides. Not for them in the finals. One false moment, and other starts to jump blindly in the empty hole. What RCB did awesomely in this season was grinding the right moment. What DC did was the absolute opposite of it.

From 64/0 to 113/10, DC lost 49/10 against RCB to replace nightmare to sweet dreams

The number 49 is famous to the old fans, specially the boys. They can’t still forget Eden Gardens, and that unhappened evening. Delhi began like a train, and perhaps one leakage in the tank smashed them in parts.

By the time they reached 64/0 in seven overs, their target in mind probably was around 200, if not more. But what happened then? Verma was caught near the rope, Jamimah Rodrigues was done by the spin, and Alice Capsey just had an one ball brain fade. RCB took three wickets in quick succession.

RCBW does what felt impossible
©- Royal Challengers Bangalore/ Twitter

And then it was all about the flow. Lanning departed and everything RCB did on the field was nothing short of gold. The way Molineux ran from point, picked the ball, threw it only to see it crushing onto the stumps to send Radha back, the evening felt to be happening for them only. From 64/0, they were packed for 113, the moment RCB went past 30 without lose, the game was half done there.

It was also a fitting finish for Richa, who missed a chance a week ago, to crack the winning run in the form of a boundary, and stay unbeaten with Perry to share the moment. RCB started their journey, when she was only four years old. And there she was scripting her own story.

Perhaps, it’s the result, and magic of those crore prayers, happening for 16-17 long years. Probably, the writer wants to make it even hard for Lanning for a WPL trophy win. Perhaps, it was bound to happen. The RCB win, and their change of anthem to, ‘E Sala Cup Namdu..”

That Mad Writer
Author: That Mad Writer

Someone who loves how Steve Smith from being Australia's future Shane Warne has become present Don Bradman, gets inspired by Anderson's longevity, gets awed with Kohli's drive and Southee's bowling action. Never gets excited with stats and records, and believes in instincts, and always questions spinners bowling with the new ball.

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