WPL 2024: Harmanpreet Kaur Shines As Mumbai Indians Beat Gujarat Giants By Seven Wickets

With this nailbiting finish, Mumbai Indians became the first team to qualify for the playoffs of the Women's Premier League 2024 whereas Gujarat Giants are on the brink of the elimination

Photo: PTI
Mumbai Indians' captain Harmanpreet Kaur with Amelia Kerr during her innings against Gujarat Giants in WPL 2024. Photo: PTI

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur made a savage unbeaten 95 to fire Mumbai Indians to a seven-wicket win over shellshocked Gujarat Giants in their Women’s Premier League match in Delhi on Saturday. (As It Happened | Full Coverage | Schedule And Points Table)

Harmanpreet, whose blitz came in just 48 balls and contained 10 fours and five sixes, and opener Yastika Bhatia (49, 36 balls) played fine hands as the defending champions scaled down Gujarat’s 190 for seven in a stunning chase.

They reached 191 for three with a ball to spare.

Yastika and her opening partner Hayley Matthews (18) added 50 runs in 6.3 overs as MI made a strong start to their chase.

But Mumbai lost Nat-Sciver Brunt and Bhatia before they even reached 100 inside 13.3 overs.

When the match entered the last five-over phase, MI needed 72 runs off 30 balls to win at more than 14 runs per over.

Tough task, you would imagine. But Harmanpreet, who was dropped on 40 by Phoebe Litchfield off Sneh Rana near the ropes, turned on the beast mode from that point and took it upon herself to take her team past the tape.

She went on a boundary-hitting spree and added 93 runs for the fourth wicket in just 38 balls with Amelia Kerr, who made just 12 in that partnership.

Harmanpreet smashed off-spinner Rana for 24 runs in the 18th over through a sequence of 4, 6, 4, 4, 6 to reduce the equation to a much more manageable 23 runs off 12.

Mumbai did not bungle from there and notched up a win that has taken them to the top of the chart with 10 points.

Earlier, dynamic fifties by skipper Beth Mooney and D Hemalatha propelled Gujarat Giants to a competitive 190 for seven.

Mooney (66, 35b, 8x4, 3x6) and Hemalatha (74, 40b, 9x4, 2x6) added 121 runs for an electrifying second-wicket alliance in a little over 11 overs after the Gujarat side elected to bat first.

Their power walk started after the early departure of opener Laura Wolvaardt (13), who Matthews cleaned up.

Both Mooney, who struck his second fifty in a row, and Hemalatha slipped into overdrive straightaway.

While Hemalatha was severe on MI spinners, the veteran Mooney focused on the opposition pacers.

A straight six of pacer Brunt and back-to-back fours off Shabnim Ismail, who recently breached the 130 kmph barrier, helped Mooney to chug along at a scoring rate of over 200.

The introduction of pacer Pooja Vastrakar prompted Mooney to take her batting to another level as two scoops behind the wicketkeeper gave her as many maximums.

At the other end, Hemalatha picked up leg-spinner Kerr for punishment as the right-hander smashed her for 4, 6, 4 in the 10th over to collect 15 runs.

Mooney reached her fifty in 27 balls and minutes later Hemalatha too crossed the mark off 28 balls as the Giants moved ahead in a brisk clip.

But the dismissal of Mooney in the 14th over, right after the Strategic Time Out, applied breaks on Gujarat's scoring.

The attempt to pull off-spinner Sajana Sajeevan made her hear the deathly clatter of stumps.

Hemalatha soon fell to Ismail as the Gujarat side lost four wickets while adding 28 runs.