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Ellyse Perry and Sophie Molineux, both from Australia, led Bangalore to victory in the WPL cricket final.
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Ellyse Perry and Sophie Molineux, both from Australia, led Bangalore to victory in the WPL cricket final.

Ellyse Perry and Sophie Molineux were instrumental in helping Royal Challengers Bangalore win the Women’s Premier League title in India, showcasing their skills with both batting and bowling.

Perry enhanced her claims to be the greatest of all-time in the women’s game as she completed a week of scintillating performances by guiding RCB coolly to an eight-wicket victory in Sunday’s final over her fellow luminary Meg Lanning’s Delhi Capitals, thanks to a measured finishing knock of 35 not out.

However, it was Molineux from Australia who truly quieted the cheering Delhi fans at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. In one impressive over of spin, Molineux took three wickets in four balls, causing major damage to the Capitals’ top-order and crushing Lanning’s hopes of winning the final for the second consecutive year.

After winning the coin toss, Lanning, playing a supporting role to the dominant hitter Shafali Verma, led Delhi to a strong beginning by scoring 64 runs in just seven overs.

However, Molineux managed to get Verma, who had scored 44 runs, out by having her caught near the boundary by her teammate Georgia Wareham. She then proceeded to bowl a dot ball and take the wickets of Jemimah Rodrigues and Alice Capsey in consecutive deliveries.

When Lanning was caught lbw by Patil, the Delhi innings took a hit as they fell from 4-74 to 113 all out in just 18.3 overs. Patil’s impressive figures of 4-12 were a major contributing factor.

Molineux also demonstrated exceptional fielding skills by accurately throwing from point to run out Radha Yadav with a left-handed throw.

The response from RCB was cautious as Perry took charge to carefully guide the team after the dismissals of captain Smriti Mandhana (31) and Sophie Devine (32).

However, Perry demonstrated control throughout the game as she hit four boundaries in her 37-ball innings. Her partner, Richa Ghosh, also contributed with her 17 runs off 14 balls, ultimately securing the win with a boundary three balls before the end.

Perry, who has gained a loyal following among RCB’s fans, stated that it is quite crazy, to be frank.

“This marks a significant advancement for our team and for women’s cricket. The level of play has been exceptional – it has truly been a joy to participate.”

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The 33-year-old Perry continues to be a delight to watch, showcasing her exceptional athleticism and demonstrating her dominance as an all-around player. In a crucial match against Mumbai, she recorded an impressive 6-15 and also contributed 40 runs, leading her team RCB to the playoffs. She once again rose to the occasion in the eliminator, solidifying her role as a star player.

“I felt like we made slow progress towards our goal today, but it was important for us to stay in the game and capitalize on any opportunities,” Perry stated. “In the end, we achieved our target, but it took longer than anticipated.”

She expressed her enthusiasm for Sophie’s performance at Molineux, stating that she completely turned the match around.

Perry finished the tournament with a total of 347 runs, earning the orange cap as the top scorer in the tournament. This was a slight edge over Lanning, who accumulated 331 runs.

Wareham ended up with the highest strike-rate of the season – 163.23 for the 111 runs she scored – while Molineux ended up second in the wicket-takers’ table with 12, behind Shreyanka’s 13.

Source: theguardian.com