WPL 2024: Hard-Kaur Harmanpreet, Amelia steer MI to victory

Harmanpreet was spot on with her field placements, and the experienced bowling line-up restricted the Giants to 126/9.
Last Updated 25 February 2024, 22:02 IST

Bengaluru: Mumbai Indians secured a five-wicket victory over Gujarat Giants in the Women’s Premier League at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.

Harmanpreet Kaur opted to field first after winning the toss, and it quickly turned out to be the right decision on a two-paced pitch. 

The defending champions were a well-oiled machine on the field. Harmanpreet was spot on with her field placements, and the experienced bowling line-up restricted the Giants to 126/9.

After an early wobble in the run-chase, Amelia Kerr (31) and Harmanpreet Kaur (46 n.o.) strung together a 66-run partnership as MI extended their win streak against the Giants to three. 

Earlier, Shabnim Ismail (3/18) mixed her pace and lengths beautifully, dismissing Veda Krishnamurthy and Harleen Deol leg-before with a couple of off-cutters, before accounting for Beth Mooney. 

Natalie Sciver-Brunt scalped Phoebe Litchfield in the final over of the powerplay to leave the Giants in a spot of bother. 

Kiwi tweaker Amelia Kerr (4/17) then got into the act. After a tight first spell, the 23-year-old went looking for wickets in her second spell and was amply successful. Ashleigh Gardner holed out to Shabnim Ismail, and two balls later, Sneh Rana was cleaned up by a vicious googly. 

Kathryn Bryce (25 n.o.) and Tanuja Kanwer (28) helped the Giants set a respectable target with a vital 48-run partnership.

MI lost both their openers Yastika Bhatia and Hayley Matthews to soft dismissals early in the run chase. Kathryn had Yastika caught at mid-off in a wicket maiden, while Hayley found the safe hands of Ashleigh Gardner.

Harmanpreet and Natalie showed their elan with some eye-catching shots and just as the partnership was flourishing, Tanuja ran Natalie out with a pin-point throw. 

Amelia, who came in at five, read the situation of the game perfectly but could not stick around till the end. The Giants saw a glimmer of hope as the impressive Tanuja castled Pooja Vastrakar.

But Harmanpreet showed composure to carry her team over the line. The MI skipper anchored the chase perfectly, unfurling a series of late cuts and pre-meditated reverse sweeps to seal victory in style with 11 balls to spare. 

Brief scores: Gujarat Giants: 126/9 in 20 overs (Kathryn Bryce 25, Tanuja Kanwer 28; Shabnim Ismail 3-18, Amelia Kerr 4-17) lt to Mumbai Indians: 129/5 in 18.1 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 46 n.o., Amelia Kerr 31; Tanuja Kanwer 2-21). PoM: Amelia Kerr.

(Published 25 February 2024, 22:02 IST)

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