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WPL 2023: Hayley Matthews, Nat Sciver-Brunt chief architects of MI-W’s winning campaign

Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023: Hayley Matthews, Nat Sciver-Brunt chief architects of Mumbai Indians Women's winning campaign. Top five architects of Mumbai Indians who contributed immensely in their maiden WPL title.

WPL 2023: Nat Sciver-Brunt, Hayley Matthews are the architects of Mumbai Indians Women WPL Trophy  _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©WPLT20_Twitter)
Sciver-Brunt, Matthews among the architects of Mumbai WPL Trophy (Images: ©WPLT20/Twitter)

With two runs required in just three balls, Natalie Sciver-Brunt after shuffling a delivery towards the off-side played a lap shot in the deep fine leg region. As the ball slowly rolled towards the rope, the players from the dugout of Mumbai Indians (MI) rushed out to the middle to celebrate the title win at the maiden edition of Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2023.

“Everyone enjoyed this throughout the dressing room, it feels like a dream, for everyone here,” Mumbai Indians captain, Harmanpreet Kaur expressed after securing the maiden WPL trophy. “Many people were asking when WPL will come and that day is here, and we are happy and proud.”

The way the vocal home crowd at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai got behind their team throughout the whole evening was such an encouraging indication for women’s cricket in India.

Mumbai showed dominance in a well-contested final

Opting to bat first, probably because of the pressure of a final, Delhi Capitals Women (DC-W) began wildly with some big shots but kept on losing wickets to find themselves at 38/3 at the end of the powerplay. Few miscommunications in the middle along with some poor shot selection had them limping at 79/9 after 15 overs. But the unbeaten 52-run partnership for the last wicket between Radha Yadav and Shikha Pandey advanced them to a fighting score of 131/9 at the end of their allotted 20 overs.

Chasing a low score, Mumbai went into the shell early as they reached 27/2 in the first six overs before the 72-run stand for the third wicket between captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Nat Sciver-Brunt pulled them to 95/2 in 16 overs. Sciver-Brunt, even after watching wickets falling from the other end, stood high in the middle with her unbeaten knock of 60 runs in 55 balls to take Mumbai Indians over the line with seven wickets to spare.

Let’s take a look at the top five architects of Mumbai Indians who have contributed immensely in their team’s winning campaign.

Hayley Matthews (16 wickets & 271 runs)

Quite interestingly when the name of Hayley Matthews first popped up in the auction of WPL during the first round, no team showed any interest on her. But Mumbai Indians signed the West Indies player at her base price of INR 40 lakh.

From the very first game, Matthews began to show her presence in the tournament with a 47-run knock in 31 balls thanks to three boundaries and four sixes against Gujarat Giants. One of her finest knocks came against Royal Challengers Bangalore Women (RCB-W), when Matthews nailed 77 runs in 38 deliveries with 13 boundaries and one six at a strike rate of 202.63. Some of the shots she crunched - whether the drive through covers against Shreyanka Patil for a boundary or the six over deep square leg against Preeti Bose - caught everyone’s eye.

Even with ball in hand, Matthews contributed immensely for her team and her best performance was during the final against Delhi. In her third over, with a slower delivery she sent back Jess Jonassen on 2 who hit the ball straight back to the bowler. With a double wicket maiden in her last over, Matthews returned figures of 3/5 in her four overs including two maidens.

Hayley Matthews who earnt the first purple cap in the history of WPL, finished this season with 16 wickets in 10 games at an average of 12.62 and economy of 5.94 including best figures of 3/5, besides scoring 271 runs in 10 games at an average of 30.11 and strike rate of 126.04 with a best score of 77*.

WPL 2023, MI W vs UPW W_  Nat Sciver Burnt's 72_ (38) & 1_21 took Mumbai Indians Women to WPL Finals _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©WPLT20_Twitter)
Sciver Burnt's scored 72* (38) & took 1-21 for MI-W in Eliminator (Images: ©WPLT20/Twitter)

Nat Sciver-Brunt (332 runs & 10 wickets)

There was an intense bidding war between Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and UP Warriorz when Nat Sciver-Brunt came to the auction before Mumbai bagged her services at a price of INR 3.20 crore, the joint second-most expensive player of WPL 2023 auction.

After few cold scores in the season, Sciver-Brunt showed her calibre with an unbeaten 55-run knock in 29 balls with the help of nine boundaries and one six at a strike rate of 189.66 against RCB-W but her best knocks of the season came during the later stage of the competition. Her unbeaten 72-run knock in 38 balls with the help of nine boundaries and two sixes against UP Warriorz helped Mumbai advance to the finals, where she again stood up with a calm knock of 60* runs in 55 balls against Delhi to gift Mumbai their maiden WPL title.

Even coming at different stages of the game with the ball in hand, Brunt has showed her quality in taking vital wickets. She ended the season as the second-highest run getter with 332 runs in 10 games at an average of 66.40 and strike rate of 140.08, with three fifties and a best of unbeaten 72 runs. And she also pocketed 10 wickets in 10 games at an economy of 7.12.

“It means everything; coming together with a special group of girls with the Mumbai Indians was really a special moment,” Nat Sciver-Brunt said after winning the player of the match award during the final.

WPL 2023_ Harmanpreet Kaur has scored 180 runs from 5 games in WPL 2023 for Mumbai Indians Women _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©WPLT20_Twitter)
Harmanpreet scored 281 runs at a SR of 135.09 in WPL (Images: ©WPLT20/Twitter)

Harmanpreet Kaur (281 runs at a strike rate of 135.09)

After a spicy fight against RCB-W, Mumbai Indians became successful in adding the services of India captain Harmanpreet Kaur in their side at a price of INR 1.80 crore.

Kaur, who was later appointed as captain of MI, from the very first game of the season against Gujarat Giants made it clear how she wanted to bat in this season. Mumbai, after a good start, found themselves at 77/3 in 10 overs when Kaur played one of her wildest T20 knocks. She hammered Georgia Wareham for three back-to-back boundaries in front of square and short fine region, before smashing four consecutive boundaries against Monica Patel to end with 65 runs in 30 balls with the help of 14 boundaries.

Besides her batting where she notched up 281 runs in 10 games at an average of 40.14 and strike rate of 135.09 including three fifties, Harmanpreet Kaur displayed excellent leadership too. Making right field placements besides sticking with the same combination for the most part of the competition was the best decision she had taken in the tournament.

WPL 2023, MI W vs UPW W_ Issy Wong's 4-15 took Mumbai Indians Women to WPL Finals _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©WPLT20_Twitter)
Wong took 4-15 for Mumbai Indians in Eliminator (Images: ©WPLT20/Twitter)

Issy Wong (15 wickets at an economy of 6.46)

England all-rounder Issy Wong was snatched for a low price of just INR 30 lakh by Mumbai Indians. Wong began her WPL career in a special way against Gujarat Giants finishing with 1/7 in her three overs. In her third game against Delhi Capitals, Wong stole the show with 3/10 in her four overs. What was beautiful in her bowling was consistent line and length which raised really tough questions against the batters on those bouncy tracks in Mumbai.

During the semi-final against UP Warriorz, Wong was one of the reasons to destroy the batting of the opponents. After being thrashed for a boundary on her first ball of the game, Wong introducing the thick leading edge sent back Alyssa Healy on 11. Coming back for her last over the game, Wong dismissed Kiran Navgire and Simran Shaikh on two consecutive balls before disturbing the stumps of Sophie Ecclestone with a cracking yorker to pick up an impressive hat-trick. She ended the game with 4/15 in her four overs to carry Mumbai to the final.

Issy Wong, the second-highest wicket taker of the season finished with 15 wickets in 10 games at an average of 14 and economy of 6.46 including best figures of 4/15.

Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023_ Saika Ishaque plays for Mumbai Indians Women _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©WPLT20_Twitter)
Saika Ishaque took 15 wickets for MI-W in WPL 2023 (Images: ©WPLT20/Twitter)

Saika Ishaque (15 wickets at an economy of 7)

The left-arm spinner from Bengal, Saika Ishaque was hired by Mumbai Indians during WPL 2023 at a base price of INR 10 lakh. She didn’t waste much time before showing her worth in the team. In her very first game against Gujarat Giants, Saika stunned the world sending back Annabel Sutherland with a beautiful flighted delivery. In her second over too, almost in the same fashion, she broke the furniture of Georgis Wareham. After trapping Mansi Joshi on 6, Saika broke the stumps of Monica Patel to end with figures of 4/11 in her 3.1 overs.

Even when she didn’t get wickets, Saika always tried to bowl those dry spells to help other bowlers in sustaining pressure on the opponents for a longer time. She ended this season with 15 wickets in 10 games at an average of 16.26 and economy of 7 including best figures of 4/11.

Apart from these players, there have been many players who contributed immensely to the winning campaign of Mumbai Indians who will hope to get the same advantage from the players in defending their title during the next season.


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