WPL: Nat-Sciver Brunt’s all-round performance propel MI to victory over UP Warriorz

The Mumbai Indians roared back to form with a resounding 42-run victory over the UP Warriorz in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) season two at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Thursday.

Batting first, the Mumbai Indians faced an early setback as UP Warriorz’s Chamari Athapaththu unleashed a fiery spell to dismiss the openers, Hayley Matthews and Yastika Bhatia. However, amidst the early wobble, Nat Sciver-Brunt and Harmanpreet Kaur steadied the ship with a crucial partnership, weathering the storm of Athapaththu’s onslaught.

Sciver-Brunt used the depth of the crease against the spin of Athapaththu, Grace Harris and Rajeshwari Gayakwad to help them end the powerplay on 37 for 2. Together Sciver-Brunt and Harmanpreet added 59 off 46 for the third wicket.

Despite losing key wickets towards the end, the lower order, led by Amelia Kerr and S Sajana, showcased their mettle, as Mumbai Indians scored 38 off the last four overs, their partnership worth 43 off just 26 added valuable runs to propel their team to a fighting total of 160 for 6 in 20 overs.

With the ball in hand, the Mumbai Indians wasted no time in asserting their dominance. Led by the pace duo of Saika Ishaque and Shabnim Ismail, they struck early blows, dismantling the Warriorz top order with precision and guile. Ismail’s lethal delivery to dismiss Alyssa Healy for 3 left the Warriorz reeling, setting the tone for a commanding bowling display.

Harmanpreet operated with Ismail and Matthews for six straight overs, in which Warriorz could manage only 18 for 2.

While Deepti Sharma fought valiantly for the Warriorz with a spirited half-century, the Mumbai Indians’ relentless attack proved too much to handle. Saika Ishaque, in particular, shone with the ball, picking up three crucial wickets to derail the Warriorz’ chase and secure a convincing victory for her team.

In the tenth over, Grace Harris was dismissed by Ishaque after hitting a six off the fifteenth ball. Similar to Navgire’s sequence, Harris struck Ishaque for a six over long-on, only to be bowled when she missed the next. While it was only worth 26, Harris and Deepti’s 31-ball partnership was the longest partnership for Warriorz. Deepti and Uma Chetry’s 26-ball eighth-wicket partnership for 37 was the second-longest.

Brunt was handed Player of the Match for his all-round performance, 45 with the bat and two wickets with the ball.

After going three games without a wicket to begin WPL 2024, Ishaque took three wickets.

Brief score:

Mumbai Indians 160 for 6 (Nat-Sciver-Brunt 45, Amelia Kerr 39; Chamari Athapaththu 2-27, Saima Thakor 1-19) beat UP Warriorz 118 for 9 (Deepti Sharma 53*, Saika Ishaque 3-27, Sciver-Brunt 2-14) by 42 runs

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