Smriti Mandhana's 'Eye of the Tiger' glance at WPL trophy before start of RCB's title-winning chase vs DC goes viral | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Smriti Mandhana's 'Eye of the Tiger' glance at WPL trophy before start of RCB's title-winning chase vs DC goes viral

Mar 18, 2024 12:24 PM IST

Smriti Mandhana scored 31 as RCB on Sunday beat DC by eight wickets in the WPL 2024 final

Smriti Mandhana and her Royal Challengers Bangalore side were heavily trolled after the Women's Premier League (WPL) inaugural season, where they had finished fourth after winning just two of their eight games. Mandhana, in a rather sporting gesture, saw the funny side to it too. A year later, it was the same India star, who guided RCB to their maiden WPL title as the side beat Delhi Capitals by eight wickets in the final at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.

Smriti Mandhana takes a look at the WPL title before the start of RCB's chase
Smriti Mandhana takes a look at the WPL title before the start of RCB's chase

At one point in the game, RCB were staring at a huge total after Delhi openers Shafali Verma and Meg Lanning got off to a blistering start, smashing 64 runs in 42 balls. However, a sensational over from Sophie Molineux, where she picked three wickets in just four balls, left the home team wounded. Delhi never recovered from the fatal blow as Shreyanka Patil, who dismissed Lanning shortly after, ran riot through the lower order to fold the side for just 113 runs in 18.3 overs.

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ALSO READ: Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag can't keep calm as RCB win WPL title; Virat Kohli's one-word post takes the cake

As Mandhana waited on the boundary ropes, eager to begin the chase for RCB, she took a long glance at the WPL title in front of her, which was quickly captured by a fan as the video went viral on Instagram after the side lifted the trophy.

Didn't that look remind you of that song from the Hollywood movie Rocky III? “It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight. Risin' up to the challenge of our rival...

The India vice-captain scored a watchful 39-ball 31 while stitching a 49-run opening stand alongside Sophie Devine as RCB got off to a promising start in the chase. Delhi bowlers managed to choke the run-scoring in the middle overs, turning the rather comfortable chase into a thriller.

Ellyse Perry and Richa Ghosh eventually held their nerves under pressure in the final over, with the latter smashing the title-winning boundary as RCB wrapped up the chase with three balls to spare.

In the post-match presentation, an elated Mandhana summed up RCB's journey from a forgettable WPL 2023 season to a title-winning run in 2024.

She said: "Feeling hasn't still sunk in. It is hard for me to come out with expressions. One thing I'll say is I'm proud of the bunch. Our Bangalore leg was really good. We came to Delhi and had two tough losses. That's what we spoke about that we need to step up at the right time. These tournaments are about peaking at the right time. Last year taught us a lot of things. What went wrong, what went right. Management just said this is your team, build it (your way). Thumbs up to them."

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