WPL 2023: Mumbai Indians have qualified for the playoffs
The Mumbai Indians continued their winning run in the WPL after registering a 55-run win over Gujarat Giants at the Brabourne Stadium.
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s incredible fifty and Yastika Bhatia’s impressive opening knock led the way for MI before their bowling attack restricted Gujarat Giants to 107/9 to clinch a clinical 55-run win.
Chasing a tricky target of 163, the Gujarat Giants got off to a shaky start. Sophia Dunkley was trapped LBW on the very first delivery of the innings.
MI started the powerplay on a high note and that’s exactly how they finished it. Hayley Mathews removed Sabbhineni Meghana and Annabel Sutherland in the same over as the Gujarat Giants were reeling at 34/3 after 6 overs.
Harleen Deol struck three fours to get going but her 22-run knock was put to an end by Issy Wong, who got the GG opener out LBW in the 9th over.
Troubles grew further for GG as they found themselves 6 down at the end of twelve overs. Amelia Kerr dismissed Ashleigh Gardner and Dayalan Hemalatha in quick succession to keep MI on top.
Skipper Sneh Rana was joined by Sushma Verma at the crease with an attempt to rebuild the GG innings. The duo added four fours to the total not before Nat Sciver-Brunt got the vital wicket of the GG skipper, who was out LBW.
Nat Sciver-Brunt scalped her third wicket of the innings courtesy of a sharp catch inside the circle by skipper Harmanpreet Kaur.
GG reached 107/9 at the end of 20 overs as MI clinched another victory to continue their winning run in the season.
Earlier, the Gujarat Giants won the toss and opted to field first. While MI remained unchanged from their previous victory, GG made two changes as Sophia Dunkley and Annabel Sutherland were named in the eleven.
In the very first over, Ashleigh Gardner removed the in-form Hayley Matthews and provided an early advantage to Gujarat Giants. However, Yastika Bhatia joined hands with Nat Sciver-Brunt to steady the innings as MI moved to 40/1 after 6 overs. Nat Sciver-Brunt’s two fours against Kim Garth in the fourth over initiated the run-flow and negated the momentum produced by the early wicket.
The fifty partnership was up in the 9th over for the second wicket but GG kept things tight with the ball. The duo kept the aggressive batting display alive before Nat Sciver-Brunt was trapped LBW by Kim Garth.
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur was the next batter to walk in the middle. However, one dismissal led to another as a confusion in the middle led to Yastika Bhatia falling short of the crease and the MI opener’s 44-run knock was put to an end.
All-rounder Amelia Kerr joined the MI skipper at the crease. Harmanpreet Kaur took charge of accelerating with her four timely strokes and helped MI reach 124/3 after 16 overs.
MI kept things tight in the final four overs and picked two more wickets to restrict GG to 107/9 in the second innings.
It took a fabulous running catch by Kim Garth to break the partnership which led to MI losing back-to-back wickets of Amelia Kerr and Issy Wong with Tanuja Kanwar and Sneh Rana getting the wickets respectively.
The penultimate over of the innings saw Harmanpreet Kaur clubbing two sixes and a sensational direct-hit from Harleen Deol to get Humaira Kazi run-out. The MI captain creamed two overs in the final over but Ashleigh Gardener came back well to get two wickets on consecutive deliveries as MI finished with 162/8 on board.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 162/8 (Harmanpreet Kaur 51, Nat Sciver-Brunt 36; Ashleigh Gardner 3/34) beat Gujarat Giants 107/9 (Harleen Deol 22; Nat Sciver-Brunt 3-21, Hayley Matthews 3-23) by 55 runs.