Mumbai Indians dished out an all-round show as they sauntered to an eight-wicket win over UP Warriorz to record their fourth straight win in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) in Mumbai on Sunday. (More Cricket News)
Saika Ishaque (3/33) led Mumbai Indians’ fightback with the ball to derail UP Warriorz, who looked set to register a competitive total after half-centuries from Alyssa Healy (58) and Tahlia McGrath (50).
UP Warriorz slumped from 140 for 3 in the 17th over to finish at 159 for 6 after electing to bat, and with 160 to get, Mumbai Indians overhauled the target on the back of captain Harmanpreet Kaur's unbeaten 53 and Nat Sciver-Brunt's 45 not out, with Yastika Bhaita (42) playing a strong hand at the top.
Harmanpreet and Sciver-Brunt added an unbeaten 106 for the third wicket as Mumbai Indians reached 164 for 2 in 17.3 overs.
Bhatia took the initiative of scoring at the top, contributing heavily in her 58-run stand for the opening wicket with Hayley Matthews (12).
After a flurry of boundaries in the powerplay, Bhatia sent the ball flying over long-on off Rajeshwari Gayakwad in the seventh over. But on the next ball, she played straight to Simran Sheikh at deep midwicket, perishing for 42 off 27 balls with eight fours and a six.
There was drama in the fifth over when Sophie Ecclestone trapped Matthews leg-before and UP Warriorz were forced to take a DRS appeal successfully. The batter had a word with the umpire and the bowler, as it turned out that a different delivery was shown on the review.
Matthews’ surprisingly slow innings, however, ended at 12 off 17 balls when she gave a simple return catch to Ecclestone.
Both Harmanpreet and Sciver-Brunt had luck on their side in the 11th over as they looked to rebuild. Anjali Sarvani bowled Harmanpreet around the legs, but the bails did not come off, and Sciver-Brunt did well to make the crease just in time to survive a direct hit from Sheikh at cover.
In the 14th over, Ecclestone failed to grab a tough chance at cover off Gayakwad to dismiss Sciver-Brunt on 22, and Harmanpreet added insult to injury by hitting consecutive fours.
Harmanpreet recorded her second fifty in WPL, hitting nine fours and one six to make 53 not out from 33 balls while Sciver-Brunt played yet another match-winning knock of 45 not out from 31 balls with six fours and one six.
Earlier in the first half, Ishaque claimed three wickets for 33 runs to help Mumbai Indians apply brakes on UP Warriorz charge.
Ishaque gave away 10 boundaries in her four-over spell, but she broke through at the top, dismissing Devika Vaidya early in the powerplay. She returned for her last in the 17th over, removing Healy and McGrath from the equation within one over to pull things back in Mumbai’s control.
Ishaque took her wickets tally to 12 in just four WPL games so far, cementing her position as Mumbai Indians’ go-to bowler when in need of breakthroughs.
Healy did the bulk of the scoring at the top, adding 50 runs for the second wicket with Kiran Navgire (17) and in the company of her compatriot Tahlia McGrath, the UP Warriorz captain added another 82 runs to lay the platform for a strong total.
Even though UP Warriorz formed vital partnerships in the middle, at no stage did they really launch an all-out attack against the Mumbai bowlers, who for the first time in four matches were pushed on the back foot.
Both Healy and McGrath got their second half-centuries respectively of the tournament. The UP Warriorz captain, who made a match-winning 96 not out in the last match against Delhi Capitals, scored a 46-ball 58 with seven fours and a six.
On the other hand, the most impressive batter in the UP Warriorz ranks was McGrath, who pierced the field at will, rotated the strike with ease and played some superb strokes on the off-side with timing and precision.
The lanky Australia and UP Warriorz all-rounder finished at 50 from 37 balls, hitting nine fours in the process.