Asha Sobhana reflects on her performance in the Eliminator

In an exciting clash at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Royal Challengers Bangalore Women’s spinner Asha Sobhana held her nerves in the final over to guide her team to a five-run victory over the Mumbai Indians Women in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024 Eliminator. With MI needing 12 runs off the last six balls, captain Smriti Mandhana showed immense faith in the 33-year-old to get the job done.

Throughout the match, the contest swung like a pendulum, with both teams eyeing a place in the finals. However, it was in the death overs where Sobhana truly shined.

The match seemed to be slipping away from RCB when spinner Shreyanka Patil dismissed the well-set Harmanpreet in the 18th over. But some smart captaincy from Smriti, who handed the final over to Sobhana, turning the game on its head.

Smriti came to me and asked if I could bowl: Asha Sobhana

RCB posted 135/6 after being put in to bat first, with Ellyse Perry (66) leading the way. In reply, MI was anchored by a brilliant 33 from skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Amelia Kerr’s 27 but lost a flurry of wickets towards the end and ended with 130/6.

Reflecting on her performance moment, “From the 15th over I was thinking, the 20th over might be me, I was expecting that. At the 18th over, Smriti came to me and asked if I could bowl the 20th over, and I said ‘Yeah, of course I can. I will defend the target, you don’t worry about it,” Asha Sobhana said after RCB’s win in the Eliminator.

“For me personally, I visualize, and since it was the lower-order batters, I knew that no one would step out and hit me, I mean one side was bigger and the other side was comparatively smaller so, I knew that if I bowled a little slower, it is going to be difficult for them,” the spinner added.

With this win, RCB has stormed into the WPL 2024 final. They will face the Delhi Capitals, who finished as runners-up in the inaugural edition of the tournament. The summit clash will be played at the same venue on March 17th. Smriti and co. will draw huge confidence from Sobhana’s heroics as they target an inaugural title.