A brilliant all-round effort from Ellyse Perry (66 off 50 & 1/29) coupled with a superb slog-overs bowling performance helped Royal Challengers Bangalore edge Mumbai Indians in a thriller in the Eliminator and reach the final of the TATA WPL 2024 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

In a thrilling finish, Asha Shobana defended 12 off the last over as some fantastic slog-overs bowling saw RCB defend 20 off the last three overs and win by five runs.

Earlier, Ellyse Perry’s crucial knock of 66(50) had helped RCB post 135/6 amid a disciplined bowling effort from MI.

Chasing 136, Mumbai Indians got off to a mixed start, scoring 37 runs and losing Hayley Matthews in the Powerplay. RCB could have had two inside the first six overs had Disha Kasat held on to a tough chance of Yastika Bhatia in the fourth over, three balls before Shreyanka Patil dismissed Matthews.

Bhatia (19 off 27), though, couldn't make the most of her luck as she was cleaned up by a beauty from the in-form Perry.

After a couple of tight overs, Nat Sciver-Brunt tried to up the ante with a couple of fours off Georgia Wareham, but the RCB all-rounder bounced back to clean up Nat Sciver-Brunt in the same over and provide a crucial breakthrough.

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Amelia Kerr then got together and stabilised the innings. They played sensibly, rotated strike and hit an odd boundary an over to get the equation to 43 needed off 30. The pair then upped the ante and hit four fours in the next two overs to take 23 off the next two overs. With 20 needed off 18, Richa Ghosh missed a stumping of captain Kaur off the first ball of the 18th over from Shreyanka Patil, but Patil finally had the wicket of MI captain off the last ball of the over, having her caught at long on. Patil bowled a brilliant over and gave away just four runs.

With 16 needed off 12, Molineux bowled a superb penultimate over, having S Sajana stumped and giving away just four. With 12 needed off six, Asha Shobana held her nerve, picked up the wicket of Pooja Vastrakar and gave away just six runs as RCB made it to their first WPL final. Kerr remained unbeaten on 27 off 25 balls.

Earlier, Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Smriti Mandhana won the toss and elected to bat. They didn't have the best of starts, though, as they lost Sophie Devine, Smriti Mandhana and Disha Kasat inside the first four overs.

Smriti Mandana and Sophie Devine got off the mark with fours in the first over, as RCB scored 14 in the first over. It was all MI from then on in the Powerplay as Hayley Matthews struck in the first over, cleaning up Devine with a beauty, while Nat Sciver-Brunt got the big wicket of captain Mandhana in the next over, caught at deep cover. Another MI bowler struck in her first over as Saika Ishaque had Disha Kasat caught at cover. The defending champions reduced RCB to 34/3 in the Powerplay.

Ellyse Perry and Richa Ghosh then steadied the ship a little bit, but the run-flow was largely restricted. The pressure built, and it brought the wicket of Richa Ghosh as she mistimed her loft to long on. RCB reached 51/4 at the halfway mark.

Perry and Sophie Molineux started the resurrection process again, adding 35 for the fifth wicket, but Nat Sciver-Brunt came back to dismiss Molineux to dent RCB again.

Amid the wickets and pressure, Perry kept her calm, played some cracking strokes, mixed caution with aggression well, and brought up her fifty off 40 balls, laced with five fours and a six. The RCB all-rounder hit four more fours to provide a crucial late surge before holing out in the deep in the last over, off Ishaque. Her 50-ball 66 along with Georgia Wareham's vital little knock of 18(10), which saw her finish the innings off in style with a six, helped RCB post 135/6 at the end of 20 overs.