It Was A Comfortable Total, But Things Change Quickly In T20: UP Warriorz Coach Jon Lewis

UP Warriorz coach Jon Lewis said that while his team would have been well-placed had they scored 175-180 runs, a score of 159 wasn't bad either.

UP Warriorz are fourth in the WPL 2023 league table with 4 points.

UP Warriorz coach Jon Lewis feels the 160-run target his side set for Mumbai Indians to win the Women's Premier League (WPL) match was quite competitive but "a few moments" changed the complexion of the game and his team ended up losing by eight wickets. (More Cricket News)

Mumbai Indians kept their all-win record in the WPL intact with a fourth successive win at Brabourne on Sunday, with Harmanpreet Kaur (53 n.o.) and Nat Sciver-Brunt (45 n.o.) bludgeoning the Warriorz attack to make a mockery of the target.

The 106-run partnership helped MI finish the contest in 17.3 overs.

However, coach Lewis said that while his team would have been well-placed had they scored 175-180 runs, a score of 159 wasn't bad either.

"We were comfortable with the target that we set. You always want to get more runs in a T20 match," Lewis told the media after the match.

"Batting first, with 7-8 overs to go, we could have looked at around 175-180 which would have been a tricky total. But things didn't go our way, it was one of those games, a few moments turned it Mumbai's way; that's the game of T20 -- it changes pretty quickly," he added.

An 82-run stand for the third wicket between Alyssa Healy (58) and Tahlia McGrath (50) had earlier powered the Warriorz to a seeming competitive total on a slow wicket.

However, the kind of start that Yastika Bhatia gave (42 off 27 balls) and the century stand between Harmanpreet Nat Sciver-Brunt propelled MI to victory with 15 balls to spare.

Lewis said his team, with two wins and as many losses, is still trying to find its best combination. 

"We have changed the batting order quite a few times to get the best out of our Indian players," he said.

The former England player added that pitches have played a big role in the last few WPL matches, with teams not being able to put up strong totals batting first resulting in the chasing sides winning by big margins.

"The boundaries have been the same pretty much all the way through, maybe a little bit more (shorter) here at the CCI. I think it is more about the pitches, we saw it was quite hard for batsmen to start but once they got the starts they could bat freely. We did not take consistent wickets and dropped an early catch; that's the couple of opportunities we missed out on," he said.

Lewis rued the moment when Anjali Sarvani almost bowled Harmanpreet but the bails did not get dislodged.

"Like I said, if we had got the wicket when the ball had hit the stump and the bail did not fall off, it could have been very different. The rest of Mumbai's batting is good but not the quality of Harmanpreet and Nat (Sciver-Brunt)," he said.      

Mumbai wicketkeeper-batter Yastika Bhatia said the team had confidence in Saika Ishaque, who claimed three wickets.

"The team has a lot of trust in Saika because she is one bowler who can make a comeback at any point in the game. We have confidence in her and even though she was not down (in confidence), it is a part of the game that sometimes you will be hit for runs and sometimes you will get wickets. We were telling her which lines to bowl. She has matured a lot in this tournament and she made a strong comeback," said Yastika.

"She has been taking wickets consistently in domestic cricket also. It was just a matter of time that she performed here also."

Yastika said Hayley Matthews, who had an ordinary game, is an asset for Mumbai Indians.

"She is an asset for our team. We always talk about giving good opening stands to the team so that the job is easier for those to follow. We spoke about rotating the strike, playing with the straight bat as much as possible. I can guarantee that she will bounce back." 

The 22-year-old India player admitted that the pitch at Brabourne was getting slower. "The pitch here seems to be getting slower, I think 180-190 can be a good total," she added.