Mumbai: Captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s fifty followed by Nat Sciver-Brunt and Hayley Matthews’ three-wicket hauls respectively helped all-round Mumbai Indians crush Gujarat Giants by 55 runs and became the first team to qualify for the playoffs in the ongoing Women’s Premier League (WPL) here at the Brabourne Stadium on Tuesday. Chasing 163, Gujarat Giants only managed 107/9 in 20 overs. With this 55-run win over GG, Mumbai Indians became the first team to qualify for the playoffs. It is the 5th consecutive victory for Mumbai Indians in the WPL.
Defending a total of 163 runs, Mumbai Indians got off to a fiery start as Nat Sciver-Brunt provided her team with a wicket of Sophia Dunkley for a duck in the first over of the innings. The right-handed batter Harleen Deol then came out to bat at the crease. In the 6th over of the game, Hayley Matthews gave Gujarat double blows as she removed Sabbhineni Meghana and Annabel Sutherland. Meghana returned after scoring 16 while Sutherland went back into the pavilion for a duck.
Deol’s sublime stint at the crease was cut short as she was dismissed by Issy Wong for 22 runs. Gujarat kept losing wickets at regular intervals as Mumbai’s superb bowling attack dismantled them. The wickets kept coming for Mumbai Indians as Amelia Kerr then joined the wicket-taking party, sending Ashleigh Gardner packing for 8 runs in the 10th over of the game.
At this point, Mumbai completely dominated Gujarat and pressured them to play careless shots to claim wickets. Sneh Rana then tried to hit Nat Sciver-Brunt for a couple of boundaries but was also trapped LBW in the 15th over of the game. She returned after scoring 20 off 19.
The right-handed batter Kim Garth then came out to bat. Harmanpreet Kaur grabbed a sensational catch, diving forward at mid-off as Nat Sciver-Brunt bagged her third wicket, sending Garth back to the pavilion for 8 runs. In the 18th over of the match, Matthews dismissed Tanuja Kanwar for a duck. In the last over of the game Gujarat only managed to score 2 runs in Saika Ishaque’s spell and handed Mumbai a 55-run victory at the Brabourne Stadium.
Earlier, top knocks by Yastika Bhatia and Harmanpreet Kaur propelled Mumbai Indians to 162/8 against Gujarat Giants. Harmanpreet was the highest run scorer for Mumbai Indians with 51 off 30 balls while Bhatia slammed crucial 44 runs in 37 deliveries. For Gujarat Giants, Ashleigh Gardner scalped three while Kim Garth, Sneh Rana and Tanuja Kanwar bagged one wicket each.
Opted to bowl first, the Gujarat Ginats team got off to a flying start as Ashleigh Gardner provided her team with a big wicket. Gardner drew the first blood as she dismissed Hayley Matthews for the three-ball duck in the first over of the match. Nat Sciver-Brunt and Yastika Bhatia then handled the charge as they slammed Gardner for 11 runs with the help of two magnificent fours.
In the 11th over of the match, Kim Garth provided her team with a big wicket of Nat Sciver-Brunt. The star batter of Gujarat Sciver-Brunt returned to the pavilion after scoring 36 runs off 31 deliveries. Mumbai captain Harmanpreet Kaur then came out to bat on the crease. Yastika Bhatia continued her charge and slammed Tanuja Kanwar for a boundary and gathered 9 runs in the 12th over.
Sneh Rana then came to bowl the 13th over and got an inside edge off Yastika Bhatia in the first ball, who set off straight away without looking at her partner Harmanpreet. She then tried to take run back but a good throw, straight at the wicketkeeper resulted in a run-out. Bhatia went back to the pavilion after scoring 44 off 37. The right-handed batter Amelia Kerr then came out to bat and with captain Harmanpreet the latter slammed 9 runs off Sneh Rana with the help of stunning boundaries.
The duo of Harmanpreet and Kerr slammed Gujarat bowlers all around the ground while gathering singles at regular intervals. However, Kerr’s red-hot form at the crease came to an end as she was removed by Tanuja Kanwar for 19 runs. Sneh Rana then gave Mumbai another blow as she removed Issy Wong for a duck. Harmanpreet shifted gears and slammed Annabel Sutherland for 14 runs with the help of two stunning sixes.
Harmanpreet brought up her 29-ball half-century after slamming back-to-back two boundaries, however, her stint at the crease was cut short Gardner removed her for 51 runs in the last over of the game. In the same over, Gardner gave Mumbai another blow as she dismissed new batter Amanjot Kaur for a duck, restricting Mumbai India at the score of 162/8.
Mumbai Indians 162/8 (Harmanpreet Kaur 51, Yastika Bhatia 44; Ashleigh Gardner 3-34) vs Gujarat Giants 107/9 (Harleen Deol 22, Sneh Rana 20; Nat Sciver-Brunt 3-21).