Mumbai Indians Women team are stamped their class early in the ongoing Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2023. Harmanpreet Kaur’s side posted their second successive win, defeating Smriti Mandhana’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by nine wickets with more than five overs to spare. Opener Hayley Matthews smashed 77 off 38 balls while England all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt chipped in with 55 of 29 balls as MI Women chased down 156 runs to win in just 14.2 overs.
The comprehensive win for Harmanpreet’s side means that MI Women are firmly on top of the WPL 2023 Points Table with 4 points from 2 matches after Game No. 4 of the league. MI also have a very healthy NRR of 5.18 after two massive wins so far.
Delhi Capitals or UP Warriorz can also join MI-W on 4 points in the standings on Tuesday (March 7) night when the two sides face-off. Both sides have 1 win to their names but they will struggle to displace MI-W from the top due to their superior NRR. However, a win for either side will mean that they will move to second place with 4 points.
Mumbai Indians’ fantastic start to the Women’s Premier League continued as they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 9 wickets in a dominant display at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. MI chased down a target of 156 with as many as 34 balls to spare.
Royal Challengers Bangalore won the toss and opted to bat first but it was Mumbai Indians who dominated the match right from the beginning. MI opened the bowling with Hayley Matthews considering her success against Smriti while paying for the national team but it was young left arm spinner Saika Ishaque who rocked RCB early by dismissing both Sophie Devine (16) and Disha Kasat (0) in the fifth over.
Those two wickets gave Ishaque the Purple Cap as she became the tournament’s leading wicket taker with six. Matthews then got the better of Mandhana yet again for 23 and also got rid of Heather Knight for a duck.
RCB’s woes were further compounded as Ellyse Perry was run out for 13. Matthews then came back and dismissed top-scorer Richa Ghosh as well for 28 as RCB failed to bat the 20 overs out. Leg spinner Amelia Kerr cleaned up the tail to end with 2/30 as RCB were bowled out for just 155 with eight balls remaining in their innings. Matthews (3/28) and Ishaque (2/26) were the other wreckers in chief as MI’s spinners bamboozled the RCB batters.
It was a completely different story in the chase as MI openers, Hayley Matthews and Yastika Bhatia, batted with a lot of fluency from the outset and took advantage of the Powerplay. Speaking after being awarded the Player of the Match award, Matthews said, “With the freedom that I have been given at the top of the batting order for Mumbai Indians, that is getting the best out of me.”
She added that she was really pleased with her bowling effort after the batters came after her in the opening over. Bhatia couldn’t convert her fast start as she fell for 23 off 19 balls to Preeti Bose but that was as good as it got for RCB as Matthews and Nat Sciver-Brunt added 114 runs in less than ten overs as MI romped home in the chase in just 14.2 overs.
Matthews struck at a strike rate in excess of 200, scoring 77 not out off just 38 balls and also going top of the run charts to secure the Orange Cap with a total of 124 runs. Sciver-Brunt provided her great support, blitzing 55 not out in just 29 deliveries.