Issy Wong. (Photo Source: Twitter/WPL)
After a stunning performance with the ball, Nat Sciver-Brunt inspired Mumbai Indians to win the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League. Along with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, the English international stitched a phenomenal 72-run partnership which helped Mumbai win the all-important final against Delhi Capitals, who finished at the top of the table after the league stage.
Meanwhile, the Meg Lanning-led side will be disappointed with their performance at Brabourne Stadium on March 26 in Mumbai. The skipper did a reasonably good job with the bat but the middle order collapsed under pressure. However, towards the fag end of the match, Shikha Pandey (27* runs off 17 deliveries) and Radha Yadav (27* off 12 deliveries) accelerated well to help Delhi finish on 131 runs.
With the ball, the Capitals started well, picking up two crucial wickets of Hayley Matthews and Yastika Bhatia. However, they could not save the ship as Mumbai won the match by seven wickets in the final over. Following their win, let us have a look at the talking points from the game and who said what.
Nat Sciver and Harmanpret Kaur’s partnership
After losing two quick wickets, Mumbai were under pressure but two veterans stepped up and bailed the team out. Sciver-Brunt remained not out, scoring 60 off 55 while the Indian skipper helped the team by scoring 37 off 39 deliveries.
Issy Wong: cometh the hour, cometh the woman
Issy Wong had been terrific throughout the season and on the night of the finals, the youngster wreaked havoc, picking up three crucial wickets of Shafali Verma, Alice Capsey and Jemimmah Rodrigues. She ended the tournament with 15 wickets from ten matches in the tournament and finished as the third-leading wicket-taker of the tournament.
Delhi collapsed under pressure
Delhi skipper Meg Lanning has enormous experience in winning crunch games. However, her teammates were disappointing with the bat in the finals as Delhi lost the match by seven wickets. They were average with the ball and may need some more quality Indian players to fight for the trophy next season.
Winning skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said:
Great experience, we were waiting for so many years. Everyone enjoyed this throughout the dressing room. It feels like a dream, for everyone here. So many people were asking when WPL will come and that day is here, and we are so happy and proud. I think having a long batting line-up, we had to go there and express. Very happy with how everyone performed. I think staying positive is key, we were lucky with full tosses going in our favour. This is a special moment for all of us, I have been waiting a long time and today I know what it feels like to be winning (laughs). Great experience and waiting for next year. (On coaches) We keep talking about being positive, and we executed our plans really well and that’s the reason I’m standing here today.
Losing captain Meg Lanning said:
We would have loved to win but full credit to MI. They deserve it but full credit to our group’s efforts. We didn’t really set a target, we wanted to put a few more. We didn’t bat at our best but this competition has shown you can keep going till the end, and then you never know. Very good effort from the bowlers. We did well in the first 10 overs, got early wickets but Harmanpreet and Sciver-Brunt took the game away, they batted very well. I have enjoyed playing spin, enjoyed my experience with DC. Everyone responsible at this franchise, made us feel very welcome. A massive thank you to them.
Player of the Match Nat Sciver-Brunt said:
It was very special. Glad I was able to stick it out when the pressure was on. I was trying to get quite tough and Harman and Melie took the pressure off me. I knew if I stayed till the end we’d get through. We gave away too many in the final 3-4 overs, but it made the game interesting. (Winning the trophy) It means everything, coming together with a special group of girls with the Mumbai Indians, really special moment.