Mumbai Indians claimed the trophy in the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) in front of an adoring full-house at the Brabourne stadium, beating Delhi Capitals by seven wickets in the final thanks to an unbeaten 60 by England all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt, here on Sunday.
Sciver-Brunt struck 60 not out off 55 deliveries, hitting seven boundaries and raising 72 runs for the third wicket with captain Harmanpreet Kaur (37) and 39 for the unbeaten fourth wicket partnership to guide them to 134/3 in 19.3 overs after their bowlers Issy Wong, Hayley Matthew and Amelia Kerr shared eight wickets between them as Delhi Capitals were restricted to 131/9 in 20 overs.
Delhi Capitals, who had topped the table for a direct berth to the final, had opted to bat first on winning the toss and reached a decent total thanks to an unbeaten 52 runs partnership for the 10th wicket between Shikha Pandey (27 not out) and Radha Yadav (27).
Though they did well to claim a couple of early wickets, the target was too little to defend in the end.
Mumbai Indians too got off to a poor start as they lost both their openers with Hayley Matthews and Yastika Bhatia getting out with only 23 runs on the board. Yastika (4) ran down the wicket to try and hit a full-toss out of the ground but skied it to deep midwicket for a comfortable catch by Arundhati Reddy.
Hayley Matthews struck Marizanne Kapp for three boundaries — the first one a slash at a wide one, the second driven through cover-point in the first over and the third whipped past midwicket in her next over. She fell to left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen, mis-hitting a flighted one slow on the leg straight to Reddy.
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Nat Sciver-Brunt came together to raise 72 runs off 75 balls for the third wicket, building the innings with patience and caution, and keeping alive Mumbai Indians’ hopes. Initially, they scored through singles, indulging themselves to boundaries off opportunities given by the bowlers.
Harmanpreet scored two fours off Capsey and struck one each off Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav and Jonassen while Sciver-Brunt creamed Capsey for three fours and one each off Yadav and Pandey. She survived a close LBW decision via DRS and was also lucky when the delivery by Pandey missed the leg stump by a whisker.
With Mumbai Indians needing 37 runs off 23 balls, Harmanpreet went for a risky single and was out by yards as Shikha Pandey sent an accurate throw to bowler Alice Capsey, as they slumped to 95/3.
With 21 needed off the last two overs, Sciner-Brunt struck a boundary off Jonassen to complete her half-century off 52 balls. She took a single off the next ball and Amelia Kerr blasted two boundaries off successive deliveries and took a single from the deliveries.
Mumbai went into the final over needing five runs from six deliveries. Capsey conceded one run off the first delivery and then Sciver-Brunt struck a brace off the next ball and paddled it for a boundary to seal victory for Mumbai Indians.
Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 131/9 in 20 overs (Meg Lanning 35, Shikha Pandey 27 not out, Radha Yadav 27 not out; Hayley Matthews 3-5, Issy Wong 3-42, Amelia Kerr 2-19) lost to Mumbai Indians 134/3 in 19.3 overs (Nat Sciver-Brunt 60 not out, Harmanpreet 37, Amelia Kerr 14 not out; Radha Yadav 1-24) by 7 wickets.