WPL: UP Warriorz rue Nat Sciver-Brunt's dropped catch after loss to Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians reached the Women's Premier League final after beating UP Warriorz in the eliminator.
UP Warriorz captain Alyssa Healy on Friday rued all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt's dropped catch early on in her innings as the batter went on to score an unbeaten 38-ball 72 to power Mumbai Indians to a 72-run win in the Women's Premier League Eliminator game.
Sophie Ecclestone spilled a regulation catch at mid-on when Sciver-Brunt was just starting out. The Mumbai Indians all-rounder made the most of the reprieve by striking nine fours and two sixes to guide her team to 182 for 4. UP Warriors were then dismissed for 110 in 17.4 overs, with Isabelle Wong taking a stunning hat-trick.
"We dropped her (Nat) on six and she went on to make a 20-ball 50. I will back our decision to bowl first, it is something that we have done really well this whole tournament. I will back our ability in that regard," Healy said after Mumbai Indians advance to the final.
"We have got a lot of spinners, it (wicket) was taking a lot of turn. So, I think defending on that wicket would have been even harder. I still back our decision there, it got a little bit away from us. At the end, I thought 170-odd was a par score, we just needed to bat well but we quite did not do that," said the Australian.
Healy admitted the UP Warriorz needed to work on their fielding, which was an area of concern during the inaugural WPL season. She also pointed out inconsistency in the top order during their campaign.
"It has probably been the tale of our season, losing early wickets in clumps, you cannot get any momentum in your chase. They (MI) bowled pretty well and had better execution as a batting group. We will reflect on that, probably, as a top three or four. We were not consistently great throughout the whole tournament. If you are going to win a tournament you are going to bank on your top-three to make the heap of runs, and we were not able to do that," Healy said.
The UP Warriorz captain said it was a difficult decision exclude a world-class fast bowler like Shabnim Ismail from the XI, adding the team was hoping the spinners would get the job done.
"T-Mag (Tahlia McGrath) was probably a (pace bowling) option but I backed our spinners to do the job nine times out of 10. We probably did not execute quite as much at the back end. It is really hard to have someone like Shabnim Ismail sitting on the bench for us, but, at the moment, the way we are set up, we need the extra batting.
I bet the six bowlers that we used tonight (Friday) to get the job done more often than not. They executed for 15 out of 20 overs and it got away from us towards the end," Healy said. Wong, who returned figures of 4-0-15-4 including the first WPL hat-trick, said it was crucial for her to execute her plans well.
"It (hat-trick) will be up there (among the best)," Wong said. "When I'm not out bowling well, I look back at my 24 balls (and see) which ones I want to have a go at again. How many did I not execute and want to have a go at again? In terms of those balls, it (hat-trick) will be right up there," she said.
"I made a conscious effort to execute it. There have been a few moments in the past when I have been in similar situations where I am too much in the moment or like you said, hyperactivity, to actually focus on it and execute. I was trying to become quite clear at the end of my bowling mark.
I wanted to bowl a yorker and nail it, but missed it a little bit. I got a little bit of help (from the wicket) and we take it with both hands," she said about her hart-trick.
Wong added that Mumbai Indians have momentum on their side ahead of the final on Sunday.
"It is a good thing playing the Eliminator because there is a long gap between the last group games and the final. I think we have been able to keep some momentum from the last two group games. Hopefully, we will be able to keep that up," she added.