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WPL: Amelia Kerr carries MI to authoritative win over RCB

Holders beat home team by 7 wickets after restricting Smriti Mandhana’s team to 131/6 in the Women’s Premier League 2

It is not easy to keep defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) away from winning, even if their captain and mainstay Harmanpreet Kaur is on the bench. MI bounced back from losing the previous match by thrashing Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by seven wickets in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) fixture at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Mumbai Indians batter Amelia Kerr plays a shot during the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024 match vs Gujarat Giants(PTI)

Harmanpreet must have been relieved as MI clinched the game after losing their previous game against UP Warriorz. MI restricted RCB to 131/6 on their home ground and then eased to victory scoring 133/3 in 15.1 overs. MI returned to the top spot in the points table with six points while Delhi Capitals, UP Warriorz and RCB — all have 4 points — are separated in that order on net run rate. Gujarat Giants are yet to open their score.

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Chasing a modest 132, it was a cakewalk for the star-studded MI with West Indies cricketer Hayley Mathews and left-handed batter Yastika Bhatia setting a perfect platform for the successful chase. The openers showed their batting prowess, making light of the challenge medium-pacer Renuka Thakur and spinner Sophie Molineux posed. They scored 45 runs in four overs to give MI a flying start. Carrying forward her fine form, Yastika (31) was the more aggressive, hitting two sixes and four fours.

Hayley (26 — 3×4, 1×6) set the tone for the chase. Though Sophie Devine got Yastika first and spinner Shreyanka Patil scalped Hayley, it didn’t hamper MI’s run chase. Stand-in captain Nat Sciver-Brunt took charge and smashed the bowling in a useful (49-run) partnership with Kiwi Amelia Kerr (40* — 7×4) to put MI in a comfortable position.

RCB used as many as eight bowlers to find breakthroughs to stop MI’s onslaught but failed. Nat Sciver-Brunt made 27 (25b) while Kerr remained unbeaten after an impressive 25-ball innings. RCB fans returned disappointed after the second loss in the five-team competition.

Put into bat, RCB’s modest innings was due to Ellysse Perry’s knock (44 off 38 balls). The Australian player had made a return to the eleven in place of Nadine de Klerk. MI bowlers kept it tight and none of the other batters could stay at the wicket for a longer time. In a late surge, Georgia Wareham’s 20-ball 27 helped RCB reach 131/6. MI also didn’t miss Shabnim Ismail, who was also sitting out due to a niggle.


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