WPL 2024: Delhi Capitals reach final, MI and RCB to face off in playoff | Cricket

The great success Shafali Verma led the way with a blazing 37-ball 71 as the dominant Delhi Capitals secured direct qualification for the Women’s Premier League final with a seven-wicket hammering of the Gujarat Giants here on Wednesday.

Shafali Verma smashes 71 as DC secures direct qualification for WPL final

Delhi Capitals came into the match looking to clinch a direct berth in the final and once their bowlers restricted the Giants to 126 for nine with a disciplined show at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, the hosts moved closer to achieving their objective.

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In the final on Sunday, the Capitals will face the winner of the playoff between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

As usual, Shafali launched into a series of boundaries, including hitting as many as five sixes and seven fours, to help her team finish the run on 127 without much fanfare.

DC finished the game with 41 balls remaining.

Shafali reached fifty in just 28 balls. She got to the landmark with extra cover four off Mannat Kashyap.

The duo of Shafali and Jemimah Rodrigues (38 not out) then bludgeoned Meghna Singh for 20 runs, and Ashleigh Gardner was also bundled out for 28 runs in two overs.

Earlier, the Delhi Capitals bowlers produced a fine effort to restrict the Gujarat Giants to a modest total.

Without Bharati Fulmali’s 36 from 42 balls and Kathryn Bryce’s unbeaten 28, the Giants would have finished with a much lower total.

South African veteran Marizanne Kapp led the way with fine figures of 2/17 in four overs, bowling magnificently in the powerplay, while there were also two wickets each for Shikha Pandey and Minnu Mani.

Gugarat Giants’ decision to bat first after winning the toss backfired as they found themselves in a tough spot at 12/2 in the fourth over, including losing the skipper’s big wicket Beth Mooney for a duck against South African all-rounder Kapp in the match is the first ever over.

Mooney shaped up to bowl a length over leg stump, but the ball grazed the pad of his thigh before disrupting leg and middle stump.

Dayalan Hemalatha (4) was the next batter to depart, led by Jess Jonassen as Delhi Capitals reveled in their maiden success.

Another setback awaited the Giants when they lost Laura Wolvaardt (7), the hit bowler once again being Kapp as the visitors collapsed to 16 for three at the start of the fifth over.

Unable to force the pace, Wolvaardt was under pressure and succumbed to disciplined bowling from Kapp.

Experienced Australian players Ashleigh Gardner (12) and Phoebe Litchfield (21) looked to stabilize the innings, but after adding 23 runs for the fourth wicket, the former perished following a fine flying delivery from Mani.

The Giants were reeling at 39 for four in the ninth over and things got worse for them when Radha Yadav took a fine catch to dismiss Litchfield off Mani’s bowling.

At 48 for five in the 11th over, the Giants were in dire straits but Fulmali and Kathryn Bryce made 68 runs to help the team cross 120 and give their bowlers something to defend.

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