(Cricket news) Mumbai Indians Women were crowned the inaugural champions of the Women’s Premier League after a tense, low-scoring final at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. In a nervy title clash as it was the experience of Nat Sciver-Brunt that helped Mumbai get across the line as the all-rounder followed up her brilliant innings in the Eliminator. In the final the English batter scored a crucial knock of 60* off 55 balls. Sciver-Brunt’s half-century and her partnership of 72 with Harmanpreet Kaur (37) came after an excellent brilliant bowling performance, as the likes of Hayley Matthews and Melie Kerr, restricted the Delhi Capitals to a modest total of 131.
Delhi won the toss and opted to bat on a good batting surface but were in trouble as the Capitals were 38/3 with Shafali Verma, Alice Capsey and Jemimah Rodrigues all getting out to full tosses. Issy Wong, the last match hat-trick hero picked three wickets this time around. The vice captain Jemimah Rodrigues walked in at No.4 and looked like she and Meg Lanning would take the team to a strong PowerPlay score but unfortunately Rodrigues guided a low full-toss straight to backward point for a easy catch
Lanning and Marizanne Kapp put up 38 runs in 37 balls before Mumbai’s spinners Mhad Kapp caught behind attempting a cut shot as Lanning, having batted beautifully for her 35, was then run-out. The collapse of 6 for 6 saw Delhi Capitals slip from 73/3 to 79/9. But Radha Yadav and Shikha Pandey combined to produce a thrilling 10th wicket partnership. The pair went on to add 52* off just 24 balls where they hit three sixes and five fours between them as both the batters finished unbeaten on 27 each and added 36 runs to power them to a total of131
Mumbai Indians had the worst PowerPlay of the season with both Yastika Bhatia and Hayley Matthews out as Sciver-Brunt had to 6 off 17 and the required rate inched above the eight-run mark. The Mumbai skipper with a Sciver-Brunt brought the target down to 37 off 24 before Harmanpreet got run out and ended the 72-run partnership. Harmanpreet’s dismissal for 37 triggered memories of the possibility of a repeat of the World Cup semi final from last month but that day India didn’t have a batter of Sciver-Brunt’s class and experience.
After Harmanpreet’s dismissal, Sciver-Brunt took matters into her own hands as she hit a reverse sweep to bring down the equation. Only five runs came in the 18th over but Sciver-Brunt knew that Lanning would have to bowl a spinner in the final two overs of the game. Sciver-Brunt and Kerr effectively won the game in the 19th over when she scored 16 runs off Jonassen as they needed only five runs to get in the final over. Sciver-Brunt finished the innings with her seventh boundary as Mumbai won the first edition of the WPL.
Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 131/9 in 20 overs (Meg Lanning 35, Radha Yadav 27*; Hayley Matthews 3-5, Issy Wong 3-42, Melie Kerr 2-18) lost to Mumbai Indians 134/3 in 19.3 overs (Nat Sciver-Brunt 60*, Harmanpreet Kaur 37; Radha Yadav 1-24) by seven wickets.