The Mumbai Indians’ juggernaut continued here in the Women’s Premier League on Tuesday as the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side rushed to their fifth straight win, beating the Gujarat Giants by 55 runs.
MI thus secured a place in the playoffs with three games remaining.
After a stellar start to the inaugural WPL against the Gujarat Giants with a mighty 143-round win at DY Patil Stadium, the Mumbai Indians once again overcame their opponents with an all-around show at Brabourne Stadium.
Gujarat Giants, who stuttered to a fourth loss in five games and remain second to bottom in the five-team points table, recorded 107/9 in 20 overs and chased 163 on a pitch that offered something for all parties.
In their last meeting, Gujarat was bundled for 64 in 15.1 overs in a 208 chase.
Hayley Matthews made up for her failure with the racquet with 4-0-24-3 while leg spinner Amelia Kerr bagged 2/18 to fuel Mumbai’s another impressive win in front of a partisan crowd.
Nat Sciver-Brunt also produced an all-around show for Mumbai, who returned with 4-0-21-3 after hitting an important 36 of 31 with five fours and a six studded.
While each of Mumbai’s overseas bowlers was among the wickets, India’s uncovered Saika Ishaque remained wicketless in her 4-0-20-0.
The Mumbai Indians looked steady at the halfway point in their innings but were unsure of a strong total after being called upon to bat first after scoring 64 for one of 10 overs.
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, however, hit a 30-ball 51 with seven fours and two sixes, her blitz sending the Mumbai Indians to a challenging 162/8.
Yastika Bhatia (44) and Sciver-Brunt consolidated well, adding 74 for the second wicket.
After a quiet first half, the Mumbai Indians went the aggressive route, adding 98 runs in the last 10 overs.
The second half saw Mumbai Indians off to a terrific start as Sciver-Brunt hit the first ball and caught the in-form Sophie Dunkley, who had scored 65 in her last game at the venue.
Sabbhineni Meghana showed promise initially with some crossings, but after a brief 21-run stand against Harleen Deol, went down for 16 to Hayley Matthews in the sixth over.
Matthews struck again three balls later, removing Annabel Sutherland for a four-ball duck to stagger Gujarat at 34/3 by the end of the power play.
That moved Matthews (9) to second in the list of bowlers with most wickets, overtaking Delhi Capitals’ Shikha Pandey (8) and UP Warriorz’s Sophie Ecclestone (8).
In addition to struggling to get out of the blocks, Gujarat Giants lost wickets aplenty. After Isabelle Wong caught Harleen Deol (22) leg-before before the first strategic break, Ashleigh Gardner (8) was fired right after resumption by Kerr, who was also in charge of Dayalan Hemlatha (6).
Bright spots for the Gujarat Giants included captain Sneh Rana with a 4-0-17-1 and a 19-ball 20, which helped stem the drop in wickets for a short time.
Kaur lost her fourth throw at the trot in the WPL when Gujarat Giants captain Sneh Rana was chosen for the field while making two changes. Laura Wolvaardt and Georgia Wareham made way for Dunkley and Sutherland while Mumbai Indians remained unchanged.
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