Amelia’s brilliant all-round performance (3-22 and 31 not out) helps MI beat RCB at DY Patil for their sixth victory; Bangalore’s dismal campaign ends
MI’s Amelia Kerr en route her 31* in the WPL match against RCB at DY Patil yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Tuesday’s game between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the DY Patil Stadium was the last opportunity for MI to get a direct entry into the Women’s Premier League (WPL) final.
For RCB, it was the last game to showcase some fighting spirit and impress their supporters.
MI, who had to chase RCB’s score of 125-9, started off well, scoring 53 in the Powerplay. Both openers—Yastika Bhatia (26-ball 30) and Hayley Matthews (17-ball 24)—batted like they wanted to finish the game as early as possible. Thereafter, through some sensible batting by two all-rounders—Amelia Kerr (27-ball 31 not out) and Pooja Vastrakar (18-ball 19), MI beat RCB by four wickets with 21 balls to spare.
Reprieve for Matthews
RCB’s second over of the innings, bowled by pacer Sophie Devine (0-17) proved costly as MI earned 17 runs from it. But more importantly, Matthews was lucky to survive a caught-behind as Devine bowled a no ball.
The DY Patil Stadium in Nerul was the same venue where MI lost to Delhi Capitals on Monday night. However, that debacle didn’t affect their mindset as they bounced back strongly the next day.
MI were 53-1 after the first six overs, but lost three quick wickets which included skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (2). They were struggling at 73-4 in the 10th over. But Kerr, who earlier showed her class with the ball, shouldered responsibility with Vastrakar and earned her team a victory.
Also read: I think we were 40-50 runs short, surely have to bat well now: MI captain Harmanpreet Kaur after defeat against DC
For RCB, off-spinner Kanika Ahuja, who bowled just one over, claimed two wickets. Earlier, after being put into bat, RCB lost their in-form opener Devine (0) in the first over itself. Some misunderstanding between both openers—Smriti Mandhana (24) and Devine and a quick and accurate throw into wicketkeeper Bhatia’s gloves from backward point fielder Humaira Kazi resulted in Devine’s run out.
Mandhana looked confident when she danced down the track and dispatched pacer Nat Sciver-Brunt (2-24) over the fence. Just a couple of balls later, she was lucky to see an inside edge missing the stumps and got four for it. Mandhana once again failed to capitalise on her start and lost her wicket to leg-spinner Kerr’s (3-22) googly while attempting a pull shot.
MI’s key bowler
Kerr, who has claimed 13 wickets in the tournament, was at her best on Tuesday. Whenever skipper Kaur brought her into attack, she didn’t disappoint. She used the googly perfectly to dismiss Heather Knight (12) and Ahuja (12). For RCB, Ellyse Perry and Richa Ghosh scored 29 each. New Zealand spinner Kerr almost had her fourth wicket in her final over, but Issy Wong (2-26) dropped Ghosh at long-on.
RCB 125-9 in 20 overs (R Ghosh 29, E Perry 29; A Kerr 3-22, Nat-Sciver Brunt 2-24)lost to MI 129-6 in 16.3 overs (A Kerr 31*, Y Bhatia 30; K Ahuja 2-5) by four wickets