A Champions League qualification ‘Final Four’ as LaLiga Santander returns
Mumbai Indians beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 9 wickets
Mumbai Indians beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 9 wickets in Match 4 of the TATA WPL on Monday.
Hayley Matthews and Nat Sciver-Brunt starred for Mumbai Indians as they won their second consecutive match of the tournament having beaten Gujarat Giants in the opener.
Hayley Matthews lit up the Brabourne Stadium as she picked up three wickets and hit an unbeaten 77* off 38 balls while Nat Sciver-Brunt provided the fire-works smashing 55* off 29 balls to help MI pull off a dominant win.
Chasing 156, Yastika Bhatia and Hayley Matthews got MI off to a brisk start. Bhatia unfurled a slew of sweeps and cuts and then Matthews joined the party with a six and a four as they took the attack to Preeti Bose. The left-arm spinner though bounced back hard and broke the 45-run opening stand as she trapped Bhatia LBW in the 5th over.
Matthews though grew from strength to strength as she punched one through point for a four and then drove the other straight down the ground, off Megan Schutt for consecutive fours to bring up MI’s 50 in the final over of the Powerplay.
Nat Sciver-Brunt found her groove early as she combined timing with placement to hit three fours off the Patil over to keep the momentum going. The duo kept hitting boundaries as Matthews brought up her fifty off 26 balls. MI reached 95/1 at the half-way stage. The RCB bowlers had no answer as Matthews and Nat Sciver-Brunt unleashed a slew of fours and sixes powered by timing and placement. The pair brought up the 100-run stand off just 48 balls to take the game away from RCB.
Nat Sciver-Brunt then brought up her fifty as she smacked one wide of mid off for a four off Perry and she finished things off in style heaving one through mid-wicket for another four off the next ball to win it for the Mumbai Indians with 34 balls to spare. She remained unbeaten on 55 off 29 balls while Matthews remained not out on 77 off 38 balls. The pair stitched an unbeaten 114-run stand off just 56 balls. MI hit 26 fours and two sixes in their innings to make a strong statement.
Earlier, RCB captain Smriti Mandhana won the toss and elected to bat. They made one change to the line-up as Shreyanka Patil replaced Sobhana Asha. Mumbai Indians went unchanged.
Mandhana got going straightaway as she charged down the track and punched the second ball of the match through covers for a four, off Hayley Matthews. Sophie Devine too didn’t take long as she slog swept her first ball over deep backward square leg for a six as RCB scored 11 in the first over.
The next two overs yielded one boundary each but then Mandhana pressed the accelerator button to hit three boundaries off Issy Wong: A beautiful cover drive, an outside edge to third man and a loft over mid-on.
RCB had gained the momentum. Ishaque, who impressed in the last match, struck twice in the fifth over to peg RCB back. She had Devine caught at deep mid-wicket and then cleaned up Disha Kasat a ball later. Matthews then came back strongly to join the party and picked up two huge wickets as she had Mandhana caught at point and then cleaned up Heather Knight off the very next ball.
RCB stuttered to 47/4 at the end of Powerplay.
Ellyse Perry and Richa Ghosh tried to pick up some momentum but a brilliant tag-team fielding effort from Nat Sciver-Brunt and Humaira Kazi sent back Perry via a direct hit run out.
Richa Ghosh and Kanika Ahuja then got together to bring some stability. Ghosh played the anchor while Ahuja played the aggressor. The latter smashed a four and a six off consecutive balls off Kerr and then hit a couple of fours off the Jintimani Kalita over to bring up the 100 for RCB in the 12th over.
Harmanpreet Kaur then brought Pooja Vastrakar into the attack and the plan worked as she removed Ahuja and another bowling change worked for Kaur as Matthews came back to have Ghosh caught at deep mid-wicket.
Shreyanka Patil then showed glimpses of her talent as she played some aggressive shots to score 15-ball 23. Nat-Sciver Brunt struck at the right time though as she trapped Patil LBW to break the momentum.
Kerr then showed her class as she wrapped up the innings with two wickets in the penultimate over. A googly and a leg spinner to remove Renuka Singh and Megan Schutt and bowl RCB out for 155.