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Smriti Mandhana fights back tears, Richa Ghosh buries head as RCB lose thriller to DC, WPL playoffs hopes dented

Richa Ghosh’s blistering 29-ball 51 was not enough as RCB lost by one run in thrilling chase against Delhi Capitals

For the third straight night in a row, the 2024 edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) witnessed a thrilling contest at the Arun Jaitley Stadium as Delhi Capitals became the second team to qualify for the playoffs, after defending champions Mumbai Indians, following a one-run win against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Richa Ghosh put on a valiant fightback for RCB with a blistering 29-ball 51, but failed to emulate what Harmanpreet Kaur pulled off for Mumbai Indian the previous night, as the visitors succumbed in the run chase to take a major blow to their playoff hopes.

Delhi Capitals beat RCB by one run in thrilling WPL 2024 clash

RCB lost captain Smriti Mandhana early in the chase of 182 in New Delhi on Sunday, but revived on the back of an 80-run stand between Sophie Molineux and Ellyse Perry. Delhi Capitals crawled back into the game, getting rid of both the batters in a space of just five balls, but RCB found another partnership, of 49 runs, between Sophie Devine and Ghosh.

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Following the timeout, Devine was dismissed by Marizanne Kapp, leaving Ghosh all alone in the run chase. With 17 needed off the last over, the wicketkeeper-batter struck two sixes to bring the equation down to 2 off 1, but nerves got the better of the batter as she was caught just short of taking RCB through to a sensational win.

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In the final delivery, Ghosh made room to drive the fuller one from Jess Jonassen towards backward point, but Shafali Verma, stationed at the very position, collected the ball and lobbed it back to the bowler, who broke the stumps quickly. The full-length dive from Ghosh was not enough, as RCB lost by one run.

Ghosh sat there for a while, crestfallen, with her head buried before being consoled by opponents Shafali and Jemimah Rodrigues. DC skipper Meg Lanning came and hugged her as well. Mandhana too was left heartbroken as he fought back tears as RCB incurred a second successive loss in the tournament.

“Tough loss to take,” said Mandhana in the post-match presentation. “We have seen a lot of Richa in WPL and international cricket, Perry was going well, unfortunately she got run out. The game could have gone anywhere in the last ball and good on Delhi as well to keep their nerve and win. One run does not make us a bad team. Good effort with the shorter boundary to restrict them to 180. We really believed that we could chase this down.”

RCB still have a game in hand, against Mumbai Indians on Tuesday, to force their case for a playoff qualification


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