WPL 2024: Ruthless Delhi Capitals defeat Gujarat giants to enter second consecutive final

For someone who has just watched WPL 2024, a cursory glance at the points table and the result of Wednesday night’s clash between Delhi Capitals and Gujarat Giants would make fair sense. However, GG, who endured another poor season, came into this competition with impressive performances in their last three fixtures – winning two of them.

WPL 2024

They were up against a rampaging DC, a team that qualified for the WPL finals with the top spot courtesy of their seven-wicket win over GG for the second consecutive season, who also repeated their last year’s performance for the final. Finished last in a five-team competition.

Shafali Verma’s blistering half-century, her third of the season for the big-hitting opener, was the highlight of their win as they chased down the target of 127 in just 13.1 overs for their sixth win of WPL 2024.

DC started the chase with their captain hitting four fours in the second over bowled by Katherine Bryce. Shafali joined the fun with three fours in the next over bowled by Shabnam Shakeel. DC performed brilliantly by scoring 31/0 in 3 overs.

GG saw a glimmer of hope when DC lost two wickets in quick succession, with Lanning run out for 18 and Ellis Capsi out for a duck off Tanuja Kanwar’s over.

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However Shafali continued her fun, hitting sixes to entertain and delight the crowd gathered at the Arun Jaitley Stadium for the final league game of the season. Soon he brought up his half-century, taking only 28 balls and taking the margin to four runs through cover.

After this, Shafali and Jemimah Rodrigues (38*) gave 20 runs in one over to Meghna Singh to speed up the chase.

However, with four runs needed, Shafali was out to mid-off and became Kanwar’s second victim of the night, before Rodrigues completed the chase brilliantly with a four.

GG ended a poor season with another batting failure on a pleasant evening in Delhi, needing a miracle win to end the hosts’ hopes of securing direct qualification for the final.
GG opted to bat first on a pitch that was expected to help the bowlers early on, as the sky was overcast and there was light drizzle early in the evening, which could have hinted at spicing up the conditions . GG captain Beth Mooney explained that her decision was based solely on what worked for them: put a total on the board and then defend.

Mooney was expected to play a major role given her late return to form, giving GG a faint hope of revival after a poor start to the season with four consecutive defeats.

Not just Mooney, GG’s top order had started contributing regularly in their last three matches and hence there was optimism. By the time the powerplay overs were over, GG had recorded their lowest score of the stage: a regrettable 23/3 which became 48/5 in 10.2 overs.

Mooney was out for a duck on five balls, missing a flick which resulted in her being bowled by Marizanne Kapp in the very first over of the contest. Daylan Hemalatha (4) went for a late cut off Jess Jonassen and was bowled by fast bowling in the next over. Laura Wolvaardt (7) missed a shot to be caught at mid-off, becoming Cupp’s second victim and leaving GG struggling at 16/3.

Ashley Gardner’s poor performance with the bat continued as Minnu Manni beat the Australian through the off-break and bowled her out for 12. Phoebe Litchfield stepped in to Manny and cleared long-off for the first and only six runs of the GG innings before departing. The bowler fired it faster to repeat the shot and edged down the length to hole out to Radha Yadav on 21.

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GG lost half their team in 62 balls, leaving Bharti Phulmali and Bryce together.

Lanning went for the jugular and brought back Kapp for the last but Fulmali responded with two fours – the first tickling fine leg and the next going past the diving fielder at cut point. In the next over, Radha Yadav also hit two fours – one each to Bryce and Fulamali.

The pair soon put up a 50-run partnership before taking the score into three figures. He was able to collect boundaries regularly but the frequency was not high enough to trouble the fielders.

Shikha Pandey returned for the 19th over and found herself on the verge of a hat-trick when she dismissed the well-set Fulmali for 42 and Tanuja Kanwar for a golden duck. However, Shabnam Shakeel faced the hat-trick ball well and GG scored 10 runs in the last over but also lost a few wickets. The result was below normal, reflecting their season’s performance.

DC then sealed their fate in the second over itself, making the result irrelevant when Lanning hit consecutive fours off Bryce to take the total to 11/0, which saw GG dismiss him to give Mumbai Indians top spot. Had more than three required to enter a straight final

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