WPL2024: Countdown starts for the Knockouts!

WPL2024: Countdown starts for the Knockouts!

The second edition of the Women’s Premier League has reached its Knockout stage after the completion of the 20 group stage matches. As expected, Delhi Capitals Women and Mumbai Indians Women emerged as the two strongest teams and managed to get the top two spots. The third team joining them in the Playoffs is the Smriti Mandhana led Royal Challengers Bangalore Women. 

Delhi Capitals Women

Delhi Capitals enjoyed a great run winning six out of eight matches in the group stage. One of these defeats came in the very first match of the tournament against Mumbai Indians while the other one was a 1-run loss to UP Warriorz thanks to Deepti Sharma magic. This is a great teamwork by the Capitals with four of their batters in the top 10 run scorers list including the captain, Meg Lanning. She is topping the chart with 308 runs in eight innings. There are also Shafali Verma (265), Jemimah Rodrigues (235) and Alice Capsey (230) making significant contributions. 

Although interestingly none of their batters are part of the top five list for highest individual score. Their bowling looks even more potent with three of the top five wicket takers spots are taken by Marizanne Kapp (11), Jess Jonassen (11) and Radha Yadav (10) with Radha’s 4/20 being their best bowling figures.

The Capitals are dominant force who control the Powerplay while both batting and bowling, thanks to players like Lanning, Verma, Kapp and Jonassen. They have already made it to the final and whoever they face in the final, Delhi Capitals will start as favourites in their home ground.

Mumbai Indians Women

Mumbai Indians started strongly with two back-to-back wins and overall recorded five victories losing only three to the Capitals, Royal Challengers and Warriorz. They can boast of some of the greatest overseas all-rounders in Nat Sciver-Brunt, Amelia Kerr, and Hailey Mathews, all of whom have delivered with both bat and ball. Their new member ShabnimIsmail also made her mark and bowled one of the fastest deliveries in WPL.

Their Indian contingent also includes some heavyweights, none more than the captain Harmanpreet Kaur who played a magical innings of 95 off just 48 balls against Gujarat Giants Women and took Mumbai Indians home as her aggressive hitting helped them to score 91 runs in last 5.5 overs. They also have young Indians like Yastika Bhatia an Saika Ishaque who are always ready to raise their hand when needed. However, lack of consistency can be an issue for them, especially in front of the RCB Women in Eliminator.

Royal Challengers Bangalore Women

Royal Challengers Bangalore Women are already identified as the most popular franchise in WPL. During the first phase of the tournament which took place in Bangalore, they enjoyed great support from the loyal fanbase who are now expecting their first trophy combining both the men’s and women’s team. And they have superstars who can change the result of any match on their own as displayed by Ellyse Perry whose outstanding all-round performance against MI helped RCB to ensure their place in the Playoffs. Perry picked up 6/15 with the ball- the best ever bowling performance in the history of WPL, before guiding the chase with a solid unbeaten 40. Mandhana would love Perry to do an encore in the Eliminator against the same opponents. 

Mandhana with her innings of 80 and 74 against the UP Warriorz and Delhi Capitals respectively once again proved her worth. If the skipper can provide a good start, her team would have a huge advantage. They have also unearthed another all-rounder in Asha Sobhana. Like Shreyanka Patil last year, Shobhana announced herself in the WPL with a 5-wicket haul against the Warriorz and picked up nine wickets so far.

The way Mandhana is leading the top order, their finishing is heavily dependent on another India star Richa Ghosh. The wicket-keeper batter made a name for herself with her big hitting and in the WPL 2024 she has already scored 226 runs, the third highest among RCB Women batters, with a strike rate above 150. 

With so many exciting players in the show, the last two matches of the WPL are going to be crackers. And although the Delhi Capitals Women looks to be superior among the three teams, the other two have enough fire powers to spring a surprise.

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