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WPL 2023: Oh MI Champs, you made history!

Updated on: 27 March,2023 07:07 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Subodh Mayure |

Mumbai Indians see off Delhi Capitals in thriller to claim WPL title and be remembered, just like Rajasthan Royals for their 2008 IPL triumph, as the team to win the inaugural edition

WPL 2023: Oh MI Champs, you made history!

MI’s Nat Sciver-Brunt enroute her unbeaten 60 v DC at Brabourne yesterday. Pics/Ashish Raje

It was as if the windy conditions at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday night put wind in the Mumbai Indians’ (MI) sails as they conquered Delhi Capitals (DC) by seven wickets in a thrilling Women’s Premier League (WPL) final.

MI pacer Issy Wong (3-42) set the tone for her team with some swinging deliveries and later, a 72-run stand between Nat Sciver-Brunt (60 not out in 55 balls) and MI skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (37 off 39 balls, 5x4) helped MI triumph. In a thrilling climax, MI needed 21 runs off the last 12 balls. Thanks to  Sciver-Brunt they secured victory with three balls to spare.

Chasing DC’s 131-9, MI had a cautious start, before losing openers Hayley Matthews (13) and Yastika Bhatia (4) early. By the end of the Powerplay, the Harmanpreet-led Mumbai had scored 27-2 with Sciver-Brunt and Harmanpreet on six and two respectively.

Powerplay factor

At the same stage, DC were 38-3. Both Sciver-Brunt and Harmanpreet played sensible knocks. At the half-way mark, MI were 51-2, needing another 81 off 60 balls. On the eve of the final on Saturday, Harmanpreet had said that her counterpart in the Delhi team—experienced Australian captain Meg Lanning—is known for leading from the front. But actually on Sunday, the players who shouldered the responsibility perfectly were Sciver-Brunt and Harmanpreet. The way both countered Jonassen and other spinners with sweep shots was simply amazing.

MI’s Hayley Matthews (right) and Amelia Kerr celebrate a DC wicket yesterday
MI’s Hayley Matthews (right) and Amelia Kerr celebrate a DC wicket yesterday

MI lost their second wicket at 23 in the fourth over, but Harmanpreet and Sciver-Brunt rotated the strike well and stitched a 72-run stand off 74. Sciver-Brunt smashed seven fours. DC’s left-arm spinners Radha Yadav and Jess Jonassen claimed a wicket each. Earlier, opting to bat, DC had a tough time as they lost their two top batters in the second over. Opener Shafali Verma (four-ball 11) welcomed MI’s Wong with a six followed by a four. However, Wong dismissed Verma on the third ball—a swinging delivery—through point fielder Amelia Kerr. In-form one-drop batter Alice Capsey (0) failed to counter Wong’s swinging delivery and offered an easy catch to Amanjot Kaur at short cover.

Wong gets it right

Harmanpreet brought back Wong in the fifth over and she conceded 14 but, claimed two wickets. The pacer didn’t disappoint her skipper and with yet another swinging delivery dismissed Jemimah Rodrigues (nine). Mumbai-born Rodrigues smashed two fours earlier, but failed to read  Wong this time and point fielder Matthews took an easy catch. For DC, the only hope was their captain Lanning, who scored a 29-ball 35 with the help of five fours. However, a brilliant fielding effort from Amanjot and some quick reaction by wicketkeeper Yastika Bhatia resulted in Lanning’s run out.

Also read: 'Players did not fix the boundary rope': Harmanpreet Kaur gives fitting reply

A splendid bowling partnership from two spinners—offie Matthews (4-2-5-3) and leg-spinner Kerr (4-0-18-2) made a huge difference as they dismantled DC’s batting line. Thanks to No. 8 batter Shikha Pandey (17-ball 27 not out) and No. 11 Radha Yadav (12-ball 27 not out) DC managed to post 131-9 in their allotted 20 overs. Wong, who registered the first hat trick of the WPL in the Eliminator against UP Warriorz at DY Patil Stadium on Friday, returned to the attack in the 19th over. However, she conceded 20 runs with Pandey hitting a six and two fours. Yadav, who smashed two sixes off pacer Nat Sciver-Brunt’s (0-37) in the last over of the innings, extracted 16 runs from the over. Pandey and Yadav shared an unbeaten 52-run partnership for the 10th wicket in just 24 balls.

Brief scores
DC 131-9 in 20 overs (M Lanning 35, R Yadav 27*, S Pandey 27*; H Matthews 3-5, I Wong 3-42, A Kerr 2-18) lost to MI 134-3 in 19.3 overs (N Sciver-Brunt 60*, H Kaur 37; R Yadav 1-24) by 7 wickets

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