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regular-article-logo Sunday, 26 May 2024

Last year taught us lot of things, as a player, as captain and as a team: RCB skipper Smriti Mandhana

Mandhana said the 2023 campaign 'taught us a lot of things' as her team beat Delhi Capitals by eight wickets to land the title in Delhi

PTI New Delhi Published 18.03.24, 09:28 AM
RCB batter Smriti Mandhana plays a shot during the WPL-T20 final cricket match between Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, in New Delhi, Sunday, March 17, 2024

RCB batter Smriti Mandhana plays a shot during the WPL-T20 final cricket match between Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, in New Delhi, Sunday, March 17, 2024 PTI

Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Smriti Mandhana said she got solid backing from the management after their failure to win the Women's Premier League last year, which went a long way in them lifting the title here on Sunday.

She said the 2023 campaign "taught us a lot of things" as her team beat Delhi Capitals by eight wickets to land the title here.

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With this, RCB's spirited bunch has managed to achieve what their men's team could not do over 16 years, and Mandhana thanked their loyal fanbase for always supporting the side.

"Last year taught us a lot of things, as a player, as a captain and as a team. The management, the way they backed me during the review after the season…they have been through a lot and a big thumbs up (to them)," Mandhana said at the post-match presentation.

On the title triumph, she said, "The feeling has not sunk in yet, maybe it will take time. Hard for me to come out with a lot of expressions. Only thing I want to say is I am proud of the bunch.

"We have been through ups and downs but they have stuck at it, and the way we have gotten past the line (tonight), it was amazing. Our Bangalore leg was really good. We had two tough losses (in Delhi). That is what we talked about.

"The last league match was like a quarter, then the semi and then the final. In such tournaments, you have to peak at the right time." The spin pair of Shreyanka Patil (4/12) and Sophie Molineux (3/20) helped RCB bowl out DC for 113, and then, talismanic skipper Mandhana (31), Sophie Devine (32) and Elysse Perry (35 not out) saw them home with three balls to spare.

The Royal Challengers made 115 for two in 19.3 overs, a far easier victory than that tight-looking final over finish.

Mandhana added, "For them (management) to have this trophy, it is amazing for them. I am not the only one who has won the trophy, the team has won. For RCB as a franchise to win, it is really, really special.

"This win is definitely one of the top five maybe. A World Cup (win) would top it. I have a message for all the RCB fans, the most loyal fan base. Nothing would have been possible without their support. Ee Sala Cup Namde (The Cup will be ours this time) always comes up, and now I just want to say Ee Sala Cup Namdu (The Cup is ours this time)." DC, led by Meg Lanning, will rue the missed chance of bettering their runners-up position from WPL 2023, but she admitted that her team was outplayed on the day.

Lanning said, "Disappointing to not get it done tonight. We played some good cricket through the tournament. But it was about not playing well on the day. Congratulations to RCB, they outplayed us. But we can be proud of our efforts throughout." On their batting collapse, she said, "It all happened relatively quickly, as it tends to do. Crazy things happen, and every game has been pretty close. You can never sort of rest and think it is under control because there are so many good teams.

"They (RCB) deserved the win."

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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