26 March,2023 07:27 AM IST | Mumbai | Subodh Mayure
Delhi Capitals captain Meg Lanning (left) and Mumbai Indians skipper Harmanpreet Kaur at Brabourne on Saturday. Pic/Ashish Raje
The inaugural Women*s Premier League (WPL) final between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Delhi Capitals (DC) at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday evening is a clash between two strong captains as much as it is a big batting match-up between the Harmanpreet Kaur-led MI and Meg Lanning*s DC.
World Cup-winning Australian captain Lanning is WPL*s top run-scorer with 310, while Kaur has also displayed consistency in the tournament with 244 runs, inclusive of three half-centuries. Considering Lanning*s fighting spirit, Kaur reckoned the decider will be a tough challenge. "She [Lanning] is not someone who is dependent on the players. She always leads from the front. That is something you always want from your leader. When a leader comes and responds, the team always perform well. We learnt those things from her. I think tomorrow*s [Sunday] match is very important and I know she is not someone who gives up quickly. So, we have to fight till the end and our team are ready for that," Kaur said on Saturday.
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Singapore-born Lanning, who celebrated her 31st birthday on Saturday, in turn hailed Kaur*s leadership qualities and felt the final will be a great battle. "Coming up against Harman is always a good challenge. She is an excellent leader and gets results both individually and within a team. I always look forward to challenges like that. Coming into this tournament, putting teams together at quite short notice is been a good learning opportunity for all of us and I guess it*s a great contest coming up against a team led by Harman," remarked Lanning.
The DC captain enjoys the company of attacking opener Shafali Verma (241 runs), Alice Capsey and Marizanne Kapp (both 159 runs) and Jemimah Rodrigues (117). And MI*s bowling attack comprising left-arm spinner Saika Ishaque (15 wickets), leg-spinner Amelia Kerr and off-spinner Hayley Matthews (13 wickets each), will make it an interesting battle.
Despite the pressure of expectations, Kaur said she is relaxed and enjoying the tournament. "When you know your team are so positiveâ¦ we have so many good playersâ¦ then your job is just to go there and express yourself, rather than thinking about so many things. That is the reason we are always there for the team, we enjoy each other*s success, which is more important. When you work together, you always get good results and that*s the reason I am looking more relaxed and enjoying myself," she added.
No. of half-centuries by MI skipper Harmanpreet Kaur
No. of runs scored by DC skipper Meg Lanning in eight matches to top the batting chart