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Women's Premier League | WPL

From fan to match-winner: Meghana's dream comes with RCB

Meghna realises her dream from being a fan to playing a match-winning knock for her favourite cricket team.

From fan to match-winner: Meghanas dream comes with RCB

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 25 Feb 2024 11:19 AM GMT

From the moment captain Smriti Mandhana stepped up for the toss, the RCB 12th man army was boldly and vocally behind their home team at a packed M Chinnaswamy Stadium in their WPL Season 2 opener.

The rousing and overwhelming support, exemplifying RCB’s cohesive community, pumped up Sabbineni Meghana representing RCB for the first time to stitch a game-turning 71-run partnership with Richa Ghosh. The fourth-wicket stand boosted RCB from 54 for 3 to a solid total of 157 for 6, as they kickstarted their campaign with a win in the season season.

Meghana acknowledged the contribution of the fan support, and spoke about what it meant for her as a RCB fan herself to score a half-century on RCB’s home debut in the WPL. “It (the fans’ support) really got me pumped up. I don't know, like I was in a completely different zone. There's nothing I could hear,” Meghana said at the post-match press conference after the thrilling win on late Saturday night.

The knock encapsulated Meghana’s journey from a passionate RCB supporter off the field for a decade to being part of the tribe, playing a powerful matchwinner for her dream team. “It was just me and the ball. Yeah, it's obviously RCB. I have been always a huge RCB fan, me and my sister, from the last ten years, so it was really a nice feeling playing here.”

Speaking about what shots gave her the most satisfaction, Meghana said, “That step out six off Rajeshwari (Gayakwad). That was good. And also the late cut I've played, which I don't usually play.”

Meghana, who has been working on improving her range on the leg-side, added that it was a breeze batting with the aggressive Richa at the other end.

“It's just that there's no pressure batting with her. We are getting those boundaries, singles, there's no pressure. Like almost eight to ten runs per over easily we were getting. We wanted to continue that as long as possible so that we can get a good total on the board,” Meghana said.

Revealing the advice from skipper Smriti about how to bat at No 3, Meghana said she was told to just go after the ball if it was in her range. “Smriti just told me this is my first time going one down. I was an opening batter all these years. So she was just telling me, like, utilize the power play as much as you can."

“Get those boundaries like how you bat naturally in the powerplay. So even in the role clarity meetings we had, that's what we were discussing, that if there's an early wicket, you walk in and you still use the power play. There's no pressure on you to stay there or whatever. So I was just in my head, that if it's in my range, I just have to go for it,” Meghana said.

After the batting display from Meghana and Richa, leg-spinner Sobhana Asha ran through the opponents with a five-wicket haul, including three strikes in a single over. Meghana said Asha had been a matchwinner throughout and the WPL and RCB had provided her a massive platform to showcase her talent.

“I have known Asha for the last 15 years. She has been such a great bowler. I think it's a great platform for her to show her potential and she's doing it brilliantly. So she's always been a match winner. We play for South Central Railway team as well, so, yeah, even there she used to be like, she's a really good match winner for us and, yeah, I think she's just doing what she's used to do,” the RCB batter further mentioned.

RCB and their 12th man army now await their opponents from Gujarat in their second game at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday evening.

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