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WPL: Mumbai cruise to 42-run win against UP

A fighting performance by MI saw them get their fourth win in six matches

Mumbai Indians were in trouble right from the start. Chamari Athapaththu (2/27) applied the brakes by removing openers Yastika Bhatia (9) and Hayley Matthews (4) early after Harmanpreet Kaur opted to bat after winning the toss on Thursday.

New Delhi: Mumbai Indians’ bowler Saika Ishaque celebrates with teammates the wicket of UP Warriorz’s Grace Harris during the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024 cricket match between Mumbai Indians and UP Warriorz(PTI)

But the MI middle-order, led by Nat Sciver-Brunt (45), dug deep and a brilliant bowling performance later in the game saw them beat UP Warriorz by 42 runs to make it four wins from six matches. As a result, the defending champions went level on points (8) with table toppers Delhi Capitals but DC have a game in hand. This was also the fifth match on the trot where the team batting first won.

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MI were in more than a spot of bother at 17/2 but Sciver-Brunt played a solid hand with skipper Harmanpreet (33) to stitch a 59-run partnership for the third wicket that steadied the ship.

Spinners Sophie Ecclestone (4-0-30-0) and Deepti Sharma (1/31) didn’t take many wickets but they kept MI’s run rate in check. After Sciver-Brunt and Kaur departed, Amanjot Kaur (7) too got out cheaply but the sixth-wicket pair of Amelia Kerr (39) and Sajeevan Sajana (22 not out) struck some heavy blows in the death overs that guided Mumbai Indians to a challenging 160/6.

In response, the Warriorz didn’t get off to a good start, losing three wickets for 15 runs by the start of the fifth over with skipper Alyssa Healy (3), Kiran Navgire (7) and Athapaththu (3) being dismissed cheaply. It took Australian Grace Harris (15), one of the best all-rounders in the world, 15 balls to get off the mark even if she did with a maximum.

The Warriorz batters were struggling to get the ball off the square and it wasn’t until the ninth over that one of their batters reached double figures.

The chief reason for Warriorz’s slow run-rate was South African fast bowler Shabnim Ismail, who on Tuesday had become the first woman to breach the 130kmph barrier when she delivered a 132.1kmph bullet against Delhi Capitals at the Ferozeshah Kotla.

Ismail, who retired from international cricket last year, was lethal with the ball, delivering match-winning figures of 4-0-6-1.

The required run-rate kept rising as none of the Warriorz batters were able to convert their starts into a big score. Shweta Sehrawat (17), Poonam Khemnar (7) and Sophie Ecclestone (0) were back in the dugout quickly as Sciver-Brunt delivered with the ball too, picking up 2/14.

Deepti Sharma remained unbeaten on 53 but she didn’t get much support from the other end as the Warriorz finished on 118/9 after 20 overs. Off-spinner Hayley Matthews (1/22), Saika Ishaque (3/27) and Pooja Vastrakar (1/8) were all among wickets as Warriorz succumbed to their fourth loss in six matches.


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