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Women's Cricket

WPL: Mumbai Indians storm into final

Isabelle Wong (4/15) recorded the first hat-trick of WPL after Nat Sciver-Brunt's brutal 38-ball 72 as Mumbai Indians stormed into the final with a 72-run drubbing of UP Warriorz.

Mumbai Indians WPL

Mumbai Indians (WPL)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 25 March 2023 5:00 AM GMT

Isabelle Wong (4/15) recorded the first hat-trick of the Women's Premier League after Nat Sciver-Brunt's brutal 38-ball 72 as Mumbai Indians stormed into the final with a 72-run drubbing of UP Warriorz in the Eliminator on Friday.

The final of the inaugural WPL will be played between the two best sides that occupied the top two spots of the points table with 12 points each, Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians, on Sunday at the Brabourne Stadium.

Having set a daunting 183-run target, Mumbai Indians blew away what had been a resolute top and middle-order of the UP Warriorz, with Wong producing a superb hat-trick in the 13th over to seal the outcome in favour of her side.

After removing the dangerous Alyssa Healy (11) early and getting rid of an on-song Kiran Navgire (43), Wong cleaned up Simran Sheikh (0) and Sophie Ecclestone (0) to take a wicket each on the second, third and the fourth deliveries of her third over to produce a match-winning spell.

UP Warriorz were shot out for a mere 110 in 17.4 overs. Navgire waged a lone battle for UP Warrioz with an entertaining 27-ball 43 with four fours and three sixes, but none of the other batters troubled the scorers in what turned out to be a one-sided contest.

UP Warriorz were off to a disastrous start, losing openers Healy and Shweta Sehrawat (1) inside the first three overs. While Saika Ishaque (2.4-1-24-2) produced a wicket-maiden second over that included the scalp of Sehrawat, Wong got Healy caught by her counterpart Harmanpreet Kaur at mid-off in the third.

Mumbai dealt another severe blow on the UP Warriorz when batting mainstay Tahlia McGrath (7) was run out in the fifth over while trying to steal a single from a packed off-side field.

With their backs pressed firmly against the wall, Navgire took the attack to Mumbai with two fours and a six off Ishaque and Grace Harris also got a four. The sixth over yielded 20 runs for UP Warriorz, who were 46/3 at the end of the powerplay.

Navgire also got a lifeline when she tried to clear the ropes again, off Amelia Kerr, with Hayley Matthews (1/13) spilling a regulation chance. Navgire and Harris' fourth-wicket stand for 35 runs was eventually broken in the eighth over when Sciver-Brunt claimed her first wicket, getting the latter caught by Wong for 14.

At the halfway stage, UP Warriorz were 63/4. Navgire then smacked two sixes off Kerr and Deepti Sharma (16) got a four to collect 19 runs from the 12th over, but Mumbai Indians broke their stand soon.

Navgire perished after playing one straight to deep midwicket, after a quickfire 43, off Wong. The English bowler struck on the next delivery to clean up Sheikh and had Ecclestone chop one on to her wickets to complete her hat-trick.

Earlier in the first innings, Sciver-Brunt's blistering unbeaten 72 powered Mumbai Indians to a daunting total. Sciver-Brunt was at her brutal best with the bat, clobbering nine fours and two sixes to make an unbeaten 72 and certainly made the most of an early lifeline when she was on six, with Sophie Ecclestone (2/39) dropping a regulation catch off Rajeshwari Gayakwad at mid-off.

UP Warriorz controlled the first half of the knockout clash largely through their spin bowlers, not allowing Mumbai batters to get away or notch up any big individual totals, barring Sciver-Brunt, who seemed unstoppable.

The right-handed Sciver-Brunt provided much-needed impetus late for Mumbai Indians in the company of Kerr (29 off 19 balls, 5x4s), adding 60 runs for the fourth wicket. Having added 78 runs from overs 5-15, Mumbai Indians smashed 66 runs in the last five overs to put up a stiff total.

The likes of Yastika Bhatia (21), Matthews (26) and Kaur (14) got starts but UP Warriorz kept control for the large part of the game after an erratic start.

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