How Richa Ghosh, Ellyse Perry held nerves to deny tearful RCB deja vu as Smriti Mandhana bursts into wild celebration | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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How Richa Ghosh, Ellyse Perry held nerves to deny tearful RCB deja vu as Smriti Mandhana bursts into wild celebration

Mar 18, 2024 08:09 AM IST

Seven days apart, RCB showed contrasting emotions following a thriller of a chase against Delhi Capitals. They lost the first, but won the one that mattered.

Two Sundays apart, Royal Challengers Bangalore camp portrayed contrasting emotions at the end of a WPL 2024 match against Delhi Capitals. Both were a thriller of a contest, with RCB in the chase and the game going down the wire to the final over. But while Bangalore were left heartbroken and gutted a week back, succumbing by just a run, RCB burst into jubilant celebrations seven days later as they exacted revenge against Capitals at the Arun Jaitely Stadim in New Delhi to clinch their maiden WPL title.

Richa Ghosh and Ellyse Perry helped RCB script eight-wicket win against RCB in WPL 2024 fina;
Richa Ghosh and Ellyse Perry helped RCB script eight-wicket win against RCB in WPL 2024 fina;

On March 10, at the same venue, in a chase of 182, RCB found themselves requiring 17 off the last over. Half the side was sent packing, but the visitors had their hopes pinned on a well-set Richa Ghosh, who was on 36 off 23.

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The India wicketkeeper-batter kicked off the final over with the six before her ambitious effort to get back on strike following a dot ball on the second delivery of the over cost the wicket of Disha Kasat. Richa, however, maintained composure to smash another maximum, which saw her reach the half-century mark. But there was no celebration there. She knew she had a bigger task at hand as RCB required two runs from the final ball. But it all ended in heartbreak for Richa and for RCB as they lost by one run.

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Richa was left in tears, her face down in sheer disappointment before she was consoled by her India teammates and DC players Jemimah Rodrigues and Shikha Pandey.

Seven days later, the youngster, who idolises MS Dhoni, found herself in a similar position, this time with a bigger prize at stake. RCB required five runs from the final over against DC in the final on Sunday, but this time Richa had stronger support at the other end of the crease in Ellyse Perry, who was on 34 off 36.

After Delhi pacer Arundhati Reddy conceded back-to-back singles in the first two balls of the over, captain Meg Lanning had a lengthy chat with the bowler as RCB chants from the crowd grew louder and louder. The Aussie legend looked tensed, but Richa was calm under pressure. She took a look at the field setting one last time before smacking the fuller delivery over extra cover for a boundary to seal the game.

From heartbreak to elation, Richa managed to take RCB home. She was immediately hugged by Perry before the rest of the RCB players joined in, while captain Smriti Mandhana, who was gutted as well in that previous game against Delhi, burst into wild celebrations.

Recollecting that title-winning shot, Richa credited Perry for calming her down.

"I was a bit nervous, but Perry calmed down and told me to go for my shots if the ball was there to be hit," Richa said.

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