WPL 2024: Fiery Kiran helps UP Warriorz sink Mumbai Indians

After letting the defending champions post 161/6, openers Kiran Navgire and skipper Alyssa Healy stepped up to the occasion to give UP Warriorz a rousing start.
Last Updated 28 February 2024, 20:57 IST

Bengaluru: Coming into the clash with two defeats and staring at a run rate of 8.1 per over in their third, UP Warriorz (UPW) knew they had to toil hard to turn their fortunes. A poor bowling and fielding display had UPW wondering if they had made a mistake by choosing to bowl first. 

That’s when their batters came to their rescue as UPW eked out a hard-fought 7-wicket win over Mumbai Indians (MI) at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Wednesday. 

After letting the defending champions post 161/6, openers Kiran Navgire and skipper Alyssa Healy stepped up to the occasion to give UPW a rousing start. Scoring 61/0 in the powerplay, the duo put together an opening partnership of 94. 

Sending Kiran higher up the order paid off as she was at her destructive best during a 31-ball 57 with six fours and four sixes. But the 29-year-old’s adrenaline got the better of her when a slower ball from Amelia Kerr forced Kiran to take a few steps forward only to miss it for keeper Yastika to complete a stumping. 

MI’s Issy Wong, who was punished by Kiran earlier, sent back new batter Tahlia McGrath before a set Alyssa became the pacer's prey two balls later in the 11th over. 

With the momentum tilting back towards MI, Grace Harris (38 n.o.) and Deepti Sharma (27 n.o.) forged a fightback to give UPW their first win of the second WPL season. 

In the absence of their regular captain Harmanpreet Kaur (rested due to a niggle), all-rounder Natalie Sciver-Brunt led the Mumbai unit who began on a slow and lethargic note earlier in the evening.

Hayley Matthews, desperate to add some runs to her kitty after having flopped in the first two games (7 and 0 runs), rode her luck to post a fighting 47-ball 55. 

Speaking of which, dropped catches were not UPW’s only worry. From misfielding to players not spotting the ball to stop it, bizarre fielding errors unfolded, putting a smile of disbelief and helplessness on captain Alyssa Healy’s face. 

Coach Jon Lewis had said the emphasis during the pre-tournament camp was on bowling and fielding.

If the former was average, the latter looked miserable. However, the Englishman had vouched for an ‘incredible batting line-up’. And luckily for UPW, the initial fireworks and the middle-order dazzle attested that statement. 

Brief score: Mumbai Indians: 161/6 in 20 overs (Hayley Matthews 55, Yastika Bhatia 26) lt to UP Warriors: 163/3 in 16.3 overs (Kiran Navgire 57, Alyssa Healy 33, Grace Harris 38, Deepti Sharma 27; Issy Wong 2-30). Result: UPW won by 7 wkts. PoM: Kiran Navgire.  

(Published 28 February 2024, 20:57 IST)

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