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Meg Lanning in heartbreaking scenes as Ellyse Perry and Sophie Molineux star in WPL final

Cricket fans have been left shattered for Lanning after she lost the Women's Premier League final two years in a row.

Ellyse Perry and Sophie Molineux have led Royal Challengers Bagalore to the Women's Premier League cricket title, leaving Meg Lanning heartbroken for the second-straight year. The WPL trophy is the only major title that has eluded Lanning in her illustrious career, but she was hoping to get her hands on the T20 crown on Sunday night.

But fellow Aussies Perry and Molineux had other ideas, leading RCB to an eight-wicket victory and leaving Lanning and the Delhi Capitals crushed. Perry capped off a week of outstanding performances with a measured knock of 35 not out in the final, helping RCB chase down Mumbai's total of 113 with three balls to spare.

Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry and Sophie Molineux in the WPL final.
Meg Lanning (centre) was in tears after Ellyse Perry (L) and Sophie Molineux (R) led Royal Challengers Bangalore to the WPL title. Image: Getty/WPL

But it was Molineux who really turned the game on its head when Lanning and the Capitals were motoring. Lanning and Shafali Verma got the Capitals to 0-64 after just seven overs while batting first, before Molineux claimed three wickets in one superb over to put RCB back in control.

Molineux, who took 3-20, first got Verma for 44 - caught on the boundary by fellow Aussie Georgia Wareham. She then delivered a dot ball before bowling Jemimah Rodrigues and Alice Capsey in successive deliveries.

Lanning was out lbw not long after for 23, trapped by spinner Shreyanka Patil, sparking a shocking collapse. The Capitals crumbled to 4-74 and were all out for just 113 in 18.3 overs. Molineux also provided a brilliant moment in the field, running out Radha Yadav with a direct hit from point.

In reply, RCB were cautious and timed their chase to perfection. Perry took control after Smriti Mandhana (31) and Sophie Devine (32) were dismissed, and was at the crease when Richa Ghosh struck the winning runs to seal the tournament victory.

Royal Challengers Bangalore players, pictured here celebrating with the WPL trophy.
Royal Challengers Bangalore players celebrate with the WPL trophy. (AFP via Getty Images)

Ellyse Perry caps off incredible week with WPL trophy

Perry's heroics in the final marked her third-straight game of brilliance. She took 6-14 (the best figures in WPL history) and made 40 not out in RCB's last game before the finals, before making 66 and taking 1-29 in the semi.

"It's pretty bonkers to be honest," Perry said in a post-match interview. "This is a whole other level for us and women's cricket. The standard of cricket has been unbelievable - it's been so much fun to play.

"We kind of crawled to that target today, but I just felt we needed to stay in the game and put away the loose balls. We got there in the end but it was probably longer than it should have been."

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Perry heaped praise on Molineux, saying: "Sophie turned the match on its head." Perry ended the tournament with 347 runs - the most of any player - finishing just ahead of Lanning on 331.

Meg Lanning.
Meg Lanning and the Delhi Capitals fell at the final hurdle again. (AFP via Getty Images)

Meg Lanning heartbroken after loss in WPL final

Molineux was named player of the match in the final and finished with the second-most wickets for the tournament, just one behind Shreyanka on 13. Wareham ended up with the highest strike-rate of the tournament - 163.23 for the 111 runs she scored.

For Lanning it marked a second-straight year of heartbreak after the Capitals lost to the Mumbai Indians in the final of the inaugural season in 2023. The former Australia captain was in tears as she watched RCB celebrate on Sunday night, leaving cricket fans shattered for her.

"Disappointing not to get it done tonight," she said. "We played some good cricket through the tournament. But it was about not playing well on the day. We can be proud of our efforts throughout."

with AAP