RCB Women’s Team Sets Sights on Maiden WPL Trophy After Historic Final Entry

History unfolded as the Royal Challengers Bangalore women’s team charted their course into the climax of the Women’s Premier League 2024, securing their spot in the final following a nail-biting eliminator against the formidable Mumbai Indians. At the heart of RCB’s victory was Ellyse Perry, whose all-round prowess was the linchpin in defending a modest total of 135 runs against the defending champions, paving the way to their maiden WPL final appearance.

The anticipation had been building after a rocky start last season which saw the team fail to make the playoffs. Yet the RCB, under the stewardship of Smriti Mandhana, showcased a remarkable turnaround in this year’s campaign. The team notched up four wins in the preliminary eight league-stage matches, showing promise and potential that was fully realized with back-to-back triumphs against their Mumbai rivals, thereby elevating their status as serious contenders for the coveted title.

For the RCB franchise which has seen its men’s team, led by the charismatic Virat Kohli, fall short of clinching the Indian Premier League trophy in three separate occasions since the tournament’s inception in 2008, this breakthrough into the finals has been monumental. As the women’s team writes its own chapter of history, they are determined to alter the narrative of near success that has afflicted their male counterparts over the years.

Speaking to the press after their victorious outing at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi, the RCB captain Mandhana emphasized the significance of the season for creating a bond within the RCB fraternity, and stepping out of the shadow cast by the men’s team’s past. “Firstly, I think this year was really important for us to connect to the whole franchise with what’s happened with the men, sometimes it puts pressure,” Mandhana explained. Truth be told, the women’s outfit has successfully carved out its own identity, proving their mettle in the league.

“We are two seasons into it, so let’s not put too much stress. We are not really co-relating with what happened with the men’s team,” she further asserted, dismissing comparisons and instead focusing on the women’s team and their unique journey.

Amidst the chatter of tactics and preparations, Smriti also shed light on the buoyant mood in the dressing room, highlighting the camaraderie and collective focus that have been the drivers of their success. The sense of unity and mutual enjoyment has been instrumental in the team’s performance, as they prepare for the ultimate showdown against the daunting Delhi Capitals, led by the seasoned Meg Lanning.

“Last year wasn’t the greatest campaign for RCB,” Mandhana recalled, reflecting on the previous season’s challenges. Yet the captain is resolutely looking ahead. “The conversation in the last 25 days has always been around enjoying each other’s company, being really focussed on the process, training well. So it doesn’t change anything. We are not changing anything overnight because it’s a final,” she conveyed, signaling a steadfast adherence to their game plan, and a commitment to absorb the pressure without succumbing to it.

In conclusion, this final clash could very well be a turning point for the RCB women’s team, a testament to the grit and growth they’ve displayed throughout the tournament. As Sunday’s finale draws near, Smriti Mandhana and her charges stand on the cusp of not just a championship but also fostering a legacy for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, distinct from the trials of their male counterparts, brimming with the hope and possibility of their first-ever WPL trophy.

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