Sophie Devine, the Royal Challengers’ Bangalore all-rounder, believes Smriti Mandhana has been proactive and bold with her decisions, which has resulted in the franchise now being at the top of the WPL 2024 points table. Bowlers set up the eight-wicket win for RCB by restricting Gujarat Giants to 107/7, followed by Smriti being in excellent touch by scoring 43 off 27 balls to make the chase a cakewalk for the hosts’. WPL 2024: Sabbhineni Meghana, Smriti Mandhana Shape Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Eight-Wicket Win Against Gujarat Giants.

It has been a great start for Smriti and RCB, who have now two convincing wins, after losing their first five matches in WPL 2023 and eventually missed the bus for the knockouts.

"It’s been fantastic. I think she took a lot of learning from last season. It was tough going at times, a lot of weight on her shoulders. But she’s been fantastic. She’s been proactive and bold with her decisions and I think it’s seeped through to the rest of the team as well. There’s a real calmness within this group. Everyone loves to see Smriti when she’s on fire and batting the way she is. I think the confidence coming from the captaincy and on the field is getting through to her batting," said Sophie on JioCinema after the match ended.

The seam-bowling all-rounder was also left in awe of the huge turnout at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, who cheered vociferously for RCB.

"It’s unbelievable. It’s the biggest crowd I have played in front of in my career. When the RCB chant goes up, it’s deafening, it’s like having a 12th player out there. I don’t envy Smriti at all for trying to get others’ attention, you can barely hear yourself speak at times. It’s fantastic, the crowds have been fantastic. It’s grown from last year with what we were able to do in Mumbai and to see the people of Bengaluru come out," she said.

Smriti herself was elated with the strong crowd at the stadium and felt getting two good wins is just the start which her team needs to build on.

"Really happy the way the crowd turned up, so a big shoutout to them as well. There was no message, it was to keep it simple - just watch the ball and react. WPL 2024 Points Table Updated With Net Run Rate: Royal Challengers Bangalore Women Claim Top Position, Mumbai Indians in Second Place.

"Sometimes these totals can be tricky if you lose 2-3 early wickets. Lots of work has been done in the last year to get the right combination. This is just the start, we need to keep doing things right," said Smriti

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 28, 2024 01:10 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website