WPL 2024 Final, DC vs RCB: Delhi Capitals starts as favourite against Bangalore as both franchises eye maiden title win

DC enters this game as the overwhelming favourite but if this past week of WPL action has taught us anything, it is that it’s never over until it’s over.

Published : Mar 16, 2024 18:29 IST , NEW DELHI - 3 MINS READ

A new side will be crowned champion of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday with the contest boiling down to Meg Lanning’s Delhi Capitals and Smriti Mandhana’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Tactically, one would expect DC to go into this with a lot of confidence, not just due to the presence of the world’s most successful cricket captain in its ranks, but also because of its imperious run in the tournament.

Capitals campaign has seen two losses, both games that could have gone in their favour if not for last ball/last over drama. DC has looked balanced, firing with bat, ball and on the field.

ALSO READ | Bound by brilliance, Mandhana and Lanning eye maiden title in epic showdown

Capitals have the best pace attack in the tournament with the likes of Marizanne Kapp, Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy and Titas Sadhu in the mix. That three of these names are Indian is a happy coincidence for the country’s ecosystem.

Kapp’s PowerPlay efficiency is second to none. In Jess Jonassen, DC has a wily spinner who has the ability to turn matches in the span of an over and has done so countless times over the last two seasons for the franchise. Radha Yadav’s success with the ball has also given Lanning the option of comfortably switching between bowlers depending on the match situation.

Lanning and Shafali Verma headline an in-form batting order. The duo has put on 325 runs batting together this season and has been the most solid opening pair in the league.

RCB, in sharp contrast, has one of the most unstable top orders, having experimented with three different combinations so far.

Mandhana’s form has seen a sharp downward slide. After 219 runs in the Bengaluru leg, which also saw her don the Orange Cap briefly, her Delhi leg has not seen similar success with the bat, with just 50 runs in five innings so far.

Sophie Devine, too, has had a season to forget, managing just 104 runs in nine innings with a best score of 26. S. Meghana, despite a few decent scores early on, finds herself out of the mix lately.

ALSO READ | Harmanpreet Kaur’s wicket the turning point of the eliminator, say RCB, MI coaches

Ellyse Perry (312 runs and the current Orange Cap holder), Richa Ghosh, and Georgia Wareham have had to do bulk of the heavy lifting with the bat. The side needs to put in a more coordinated and confident effort with the bat should it want to get beyond DC.

A key marker that both teams have been tested on is crisis management. DC lost a one-run thriller thanks to a bottle job by its lower order against UP Warriorz.

On the other hand, it also sealed a one-run win against RCB thanks to some brilliant planning from Lanning and Jonassen.

RCB, meanwhile, kept its nerve to beat Mumbai Indians twice in one week to make the final. So, both teams have had their fair share of last-minute thrillers with their hearts now accustomed to late electric shocks.

Shreyanka Patil and Asha Sobhana stood out in their Eliminator win, staying calm and clinical, containing runs and taking key wickets. However, DC might edge out RCB in this department purely due to the presence of mind and strategic adaptability of Lanning.

DC enters this game as the overwhelming favourite but if this past week of WPL action has taught us anything, it is that it’s never over until it’s over.

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