WPL 2023: Final, Mumbai Indians v Delhi Capitals, Top Performances: Nat Sciver-Burnt's 60, Shikha Pandey-Radha Yadav's 52-run stand and Issy Wong's 3-42 are top performances. Mumbai Indians beat Delhi Capitals and clinch trophy in inaugural WPL season.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 134/3 Nat Sciver Brunt 60*, Harmanpreet Kour 37, Radha Yadav 4-0-24-1 beat Delhi Capitals 132/9 (Meg Lanning 35, Radha Yadav 27*, Issy Wong 4-0-42-3) by 7 wickets.
Player of the Match: Nat Sciver Brunt 60*(55)
When MI came on to the field to bowl first after losing the toss, they showed their class and exuberance in the power-play overs as DC was reeling at 38/3. DC really never got going as the team kept losing wickets regularly, the impeccable ground fielding didn’t allow easy strike rotation and also run-outs and low catches and some phenomenal bowling by Hayley Matthews in the slog overs completely derailed DC at 79/9 in 16 overs. If not for Radha Yadav-Shikha Pandey's partnership, DC would not have scored even 100.
MI didn't have a great start to their powerplay as they could get to 27/2 losing Yastika Bhatia and Mathews. The march to victory for MI depended on the able shoulders of skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Nat Sciver-Brunt. They proceeded cautiously throughout the innings so that MI didn't lose any further wickets to find themselves in any sort of trouble. Slowly and steadily, both the batters batted deep, upped the ante and MI lost the wicket of skipper Kaur at the scoreline of 95. Then Sciver-Brunt and Amelia Kerr batted calculative and sensibly keeping up with the required rate after losing the skipper and scored 16 runs in the penultimate over to make things easier for them in the final over, they got five runs in the final over and helped MI to clinch their first ever WPL trophy.
Delhi Capital’s poor performance with bat and ball
DC skipper Meg Lanning won the toss and decided to bat first in the first ever final of WPL against MI. However, the move backfired as DC never got going, and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. The top order batters can only regret the shots they played which cost them wickets to full toss deliveries off Issy Wong. The first over bowled by Wong was an eventful one: boundaries, twin wicket strikes of Shafali Verma (11 off 4 balls) who started really well, but couldn't sustain longer, and Alice Capsey (0) and third umpire intervention twice to check dismissals of Verma and Capsey. Jemimah Rodrigues instilled some confidence in DC Camp hitting well-timed boundaries but again a low full toss from the same artist Wong caught her off guard and was dismissed for nine off eight balls.
The innings didn't really accelerate after the early dismissals, but the partnership between Lanning and Kapp was en route towards recovery as the duo stitched a 38 runs partnership. DC lost the wicket of Kapp on 73, Kerr bowled an outside off delivery and Kapp edged it to keeper Bhatia, she could only score 18(21). Lanning who did most of the scoring to help DC to recover, also succumbed to the pressure to find herself short of the crease while running hesitantly, she had scored 35 off 29 deliveries.
Arundhati Reddy departed for a duck as Kerr picked up the sixth wicket. In the next over, Jess Jonassen departed for 2(11), caught and bowled by Matthews. Matthews doomed DC further as she bowled a double wicket maiden to claim the purple cap to her name and claimed the wickets of Minnu Mani and Taniya Bhatia. As the scoreline read 79/9, nobody would have imagined DC to cross the 100 mark but Pandey 27(17) and Yadav 27(12) had other plans, their onslaught resulted in 52 runs partnership off the last 4 overs to help get DC to a respectable score of 131/9.
Mumbai Indians all-round performance
Bhatia and Matthews began proceedings for MI to chase down 132. MI lost the wicket of both the openers within the power-play. Yadav who rescued her team with her power batting got the first breakthrough for DC as she dismissed Bhatia 4(3). Jonassen got the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, Matthews, as she could only manage to score 13(12). MI had a very slow start in the powerplay as it could only manage 27/2.
Sciver-Brunt and Kaur proceeded slowly to inch closer to the target. They stitched an important 72 runs partnership before losing Kaur 37(39) to run out. Sciver-Brunt was in a tricky situation, a one or two wickets from there would have found MI in a mess. Sciver-Brunt batted deep throughout the innings and Kerr displayed fearlessness as MI scored 16 runs in the penultimate over off Jonassen which turned the match completely in MI's favour. Sciver-Brunt's 60*(55) and Kerr's cameo innings of 14 off 8 balls sealed the deal for MI as DC couldn't defend five runs in the final over and handed a seven wickets victory to MI.
Issy Wong rattled the top order of Delhi Capitals
Issy Wong continued with the same form from where she had left in the last match. In the first over she bowled, she claimed the important wickets of Verma and Capsey who are well known for giving quickfire starts. In her next over, she dismissed Rodrigues who looked promising enough to stabilize the innings for DC but couldn’t happen today. All the three wickets which Wong claimed today were all full toss deliverie, but it was the confidence which Wong carried made the batters commit the errors.
It was her three wickets spell that DC had a horrible powerplay score of 38/3 and could never really recover throughout the significant period of the match before Yadav-Pandey assault. She ended her spell with figures of 4-0-42-3.
Radha Yadav and Shikha Pandey’s 52 runs partnership
After Wong and Matthew's 3-fers completely caught Delhi off guard at 79/9 in 16 overs, nobody would have imagined that Delhi would get to 131/9 in 20 overs. It was Pandey and Yadav's gallant efforts that helped DC to reach a respectable total. They scored boundaries and sixes off the final overs of Sciver-Brunt and Wong to keep the scoreboard ticking for DC with only a lone wicket to spare. They got 16 runs off Sciver-Brunt's 19th over and 20 runs off Wong's final over.
It was Shikha Pandey who started to score aggressively for DC, later Radha Yadav joined the party. Pandey scored 27 off 16 deliveries with three fours and a six with an amazing S/R of 158.82. Yadav scored 27 off 12 deliveries, hit two fours and two sixes at an impeccable S/R of 225. Radha got the first breakthrough for DC as she dismissed Bhatia for four and bowled well in the slog overs to keep things tight for MI and ended her spell at 4-0-22-1. Pandey bowled tight deliveries throughout the innings, and she only gave five runs in the 18th over and ended her spell at 4-0-23-0.
Nat Sciver-Brunt played like a champion throughout the season
MI had a slow and forgettable start at the power-play overs and could score only 27/2 losing openers Bhatia and Mathew. Sciver-Brunt and Kaur's partnership of 72 runs helped MI reach closer to the winning target. Sciver-Brunt was rustic initially but inspite of her rustiness, it was rather more important that she played throughout the innings and bat deep to gain her confidence back. Sciver-Brunt lives up to her reputation of doing bulk scoring in the knockout and final matches, she did it for England earlier and now for MI.
There were not many runs on the board, and she could afford to take her time on the crease, in the final five overs, she batted calculatively in sync with the required run rate. She scored 60* off 55 balls, scoring seven boundaries, striking at 109.09 S/R. It was because of her calm and sensible innings that she earned the player of the match in the finals. If MI could place hands on the trophy, it was due to vital knocks of Sciver-Brunt in eliminator and final match, scoring 72* and 60* respectively.