Harmanpreet’s half-century in WPL 2023, Mumbai Indians’ fourth consecutive win

Mumbai Mumbai Indians rode on an unbroken 106-run third wicket partnership between skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (53 not out) and Nate Sciver Brunt (45 not out) to thrash UP Warriors by 15 runs in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) T20 match here on Sunday. Recorded fourth consecutive win by defeating by eight wickets with the ball. Indian captain Harmanpreet’s 33-ball unbeaten innings was studded with nine fours and a six. Siever Brunt (six fours and a six in 31 balls) gave the team the victory by hitting a six. With this, the Mumbai team is on top of the table with eight points. UP Warriors needed a win in this match to equal Delhi Capitals (six points). But even half-centuries from skipper Alyssa Healy (58) and Tahlia McGrath (50) could not save them from defeat.

An 82-run partnership for the third wicket between Healy and McGrath took UP Warriors to 159 for six. Mumbai Indians won comfortably by scoring 164 runs for two wickets in 17.3 overs. UP Warriors squandered a golden chance in the third over when Simran Sheikh dropped Yastika Bhatia (42 runs). Drama happened in the fifth over when Sophie Ecclestone appealed for Hayley Matthews leg before, which was turned down by the on-field umpire. Then UP Warriors captain Healy took a review after asking Ecclestone, on which the third umpire gave out.But Mathews stayed put and went for a review, on which he was given ‘not out’.

Wicket-keeper batsman Yastika was in good touch and was scoring runs at a brisk pace. While Hayley Mathews standing at the other end was batting restrained. Thanks to these two, Mumbai scored 51 runs without losing a wicket in six overs in the powerplay. In the next over, Bhatia hit Rajeshwari Gaikwad for a six over long on, but was dismissed in the very next ball, which was caught by Simran Sheikh. He hit eight fours and a six in 27 balls. Earlier, the partnership of 58 runs for the first wicket also ended. Ecclestone caught Mathews (12 runs) on his own ball in the eighth over. After ten overs, Mumbai Indians had scored 72 runs for two wickets. There was another ‘drama’ in the 11th over when Harmanpreet was dismissed by Anjali Saravani as the ball hit the stumps but the bails did not fall.

Luck was also with Mumbai Indians. Harmanpreet and Cyver Brunt initially took some time to settle down and went on the offensive. The team had scored 123 runs for two wickets in 15 overs and needed 37 runs to win. In the next over, a six by Harmanpreet and three sixes on Tahlia McGrath added 19 runs to Mumbai Indians’ account. Earlier, electing to bat after winning the toss, UP Warriors made a good start and the team was heading towards a big score thanks to these two batsmen. But Saika Ishaq took the wickets of both of them in one over which reduced the run rate of the team. Ishaq was the most successful bowler for Mumbai Indians, taking three wickets for 33 runs in four overs, while Amelia Kerr took two wickets for the same number of runs. Healy, who scored an unbeaten 96 in the previous match, hit seven fours and a six in his second half-century of the tournament while McGrath hit nine fours in 37 balls. UP Warriors lost the wicket of Devika Vaidya (06) in the very second over, who was lbw to Saika Ishaq in an attempt to sweep.

Healy ended the sixth over with a massive six over long-off off Nat Sciver Brunt as UP Warriors reached 48 for one in the powerplay. At the other end, Kiran Navagire also tried to be aggressive like the captain, after hitting Amelia Kerr for a big six over long-on, sent the next ball for a four. But in an attempt to hit the third boundary on the fourth ball, wicketkeeper Yastika Bhatia returned to the pavilion by giving an easy catch. This also ended the 50-run partnership between Healy and him for the second wicket. McGrath then came to the crease, hitting Amelia Kerr at mid-off and third man for consecutive fours in the ninth over, sending the final ball for a boundary as well. UP Warriors had scored 84 runs for two wickets in 10 overs and were heading towards a big score.

Healy took two runs in the 14th over, hitting seven fours and a six in 36 balls to complete his second half-century of the tournament. In no time, McGrath also completed his half-century in the 17th over by taking a single off Ishaq. But on the very next ball, Ishaq ended the partnership by dismissing Healy lbw. Healy took the review but was sent back to the pavilion. After one ball, Ishaq gave two big blows to the UP Warriors by dismissing McGrath as well. On the off stump ball, McGrath stepped out of the crease, wicketkeeper Yastika showed quickness and uprooted his stumps. Isaac reined in the run rate of UP Warriors. UP Warriors could manage only 26 runs in the last five overs losing four wickets.

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