On Tuesday, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s season in the Women’s Premier League’s inaugural season came to an unfortunate conclusion. The Smriti Mandhana-led team lost to the Mumbai Indians by four wickets in their last league game.
MI chased down the 125 runs that the RCB managed to put on the board with the cost of nine wickets in 16.3 overs. After defeating the star-studded RCB, MI briefly had the lead in the points standings before the Delhi Capitals retook control and guaranteed their spot in Sunday’s final in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, Smriti Mandhana, the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore, made the decision to roll her arm over during the team’s final WPL match against the Mumbai Indians, in what can only be described as a rarest of the rare circumstances.
In the 17th over of the Mumbai Indians’ chase, Mandhana made the decision to go on the offensive after the game’s outcome had already been determined. Mandhana completed with figures of 0/9 in three deliveries as RCB ended their first season in the WPL.
Even though RCB had a star-studded squad, the team only managed to win two of the eight games it played in the league stage during the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League. They were nearly eliminated after losing their first five games, but on Monday, when UP Warriorz upset Gujarat Giants, they were more than eliminated.
After discovering the winning formula in the previous two games, RCB supporters were hoping their team would end the tournament on Tuesday with a victory.
Their captain and star batter, Mandhana, surprised them during the championship game by rolling her arms for the first time ever in the competition. The left-handed hitter, who hardly ever bowls, seized the chance to demonstrate her bowling abilities during the closing overs of the match against MI.
The 26-year-old was bowling her off-spinners when she dropped her first delivery short and down the leg, which allowed New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr to dismiss her to the backward square-leg boundary.
A half-volley was blasted directly to the fielder at cover on the following pitch. The third delivery followed suit before the fourth one raced to the fine leg boundary for five wides after slipping down the leg-side.
In fact, Harleen Deol, the all-rounder with the Gujarat Titans tweeted about Smriti and compared how similar her bowling motion was to Virat’s. Virat wears No. 18 and represents RCB (men’s team) in the IPL, just like Madhana.
Mandhana already has her first wicket pocketed in WBBL
A deal between Mandhana and the Brisbane Heat Women was signed prior to the second Women’s Big Bash League season in 2016–17. After Haidee Birkett bowled two beamers in the 16th over of the innings and was unable to continue, Brisbane captain Kirby Short requested her to finish it.
Mandhana entered the fray to bowl with four balls still left in the over. From those four deliveries, she only slipped one run while keeping an economy of 1.5. All-rounder Georgia Wareham, who was having difficulty in the middle, was also dismissed by her. In that inning, Wareham only scored nine runs off 14 balls.