Mumbai Indians open WPL with record win over Gujarat Giants
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s fiery innings followed by an outstanding performance by the bowlers helped Mumbai Indians start their campaign with a bang by thrashing Gujarat Giants by a record 143 runs in the opening match of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) here on Saturday. Harmanpreet played an innings of 65 runs in just 30 balls which included 14 fours. Apart from them, Hayley Mathews played useful innings of 47 off 31 balls and Emilia Kerr scored an unbeaten 45 off 24 balls.
Harmanpreet and Kerr shared an 89-run partnership for the fourth wicket, helping Mumbai post a mammoth 207 for five after being put into bat. In front of the big target, the team of Gujarat Giants faltered in the beginning. At one time his score was 23 for seven wickets. His team was finally bundled out for 64 runs in 15.1 overs. Dayalan Hemlata scored the most unbeaten 29 runs from Gujarat. Earlier, the record for the biggest win in terms of runs in women’s T20 cricket was 122 runs which Wellington recorded against Otago in 2021.
For Mumbai, left-arm spinner Saika Ishaq took four wickets for 11 runs. Apart from them, experienced Nate Sciver Brunt and Emilia Kerr got two wickets each. The top order of Gujarat Giants faltered badly. Captain Beth Mooney was retired hurt in the first over of the innings due to a twisted ankle, while Harleen Deol and Ashleigh Gardner could not even open the account. S Meghna (two) was the fourth batsman to be dismissed, leaving the score at 12 for four in the fifth over itself.
Saika Ishaq also ended any lingering hopes of a Gujarat Giants comeback by bowling Annabel Sutherland (six) and Georgia Wareham (eight). Hemlata held one end till the end. He hit one four and two sixes in his 23-ball innings. Apart from them, number 11 batsman Monika Patel (10) reached double digits. Earlier, Mooney won the toss and invited Mumbai Indians to bat first, which did not get off to a very good start.
She quickly lost the wicket of opener Yastika Bhatia (one) who was caught at point by left-arm spinner Tanuja Kanwar. If Mumbai managed to score 44 runs in the powerplay, the credit goes to Mathews, who adopted an aggressive approach from the start. He sent the first ball of medium pacer Manasi Joshi for six runs. Meanwhile, Nat Sciver Brunt (23 off 18 balls) also hit Monika Patel for two consecutive fours. Georgia Wareham dismissed Cyver Brunt to end the 54-run partnership for the second wicket between the two. Mathews also could not complete his half-century and returned to the pavilion after being bowled by Ashleigh Gardner.
He hit three fours and four sixes in his innings. Both his sixes on Annabel Sutherland were spectacular. After the dismissal of these two, Harmanpreet and Kerr handled the responsibility well. Harmanpreet hit a flurry of fours as soon as he landed at the crease. He hit Monica Patel for four consecutive fours and then hit Gardner for the first of three consecutive fours to complete his half-century. For this he played only 22 balls. This brilliant innings of Harmanpreet was ended by off-spinner Sneh Rana (2/43). After this, Kerr and Pooja Vastrakar scored runs in the death overs. Kerr hit six fours and a six in his innings. Isi Wang (6 not out) sent the last ball of Rana’s innings for six runs.