UP Warriorz took a big step towards the next round of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) with a five-wicket victory against Mumbai Indians at the DY Patil Stadium on Saturday. It was the first defeat for Harmanpreet Kaur’s team, which has already secured qualification with five wins.
Having won the toss and bowled out MI for 127 in 20 overs, UPW finished with 129/5 in 19.3 overs. While Sophie Ecclestone was the standout bowler taking 3/15, Tahlia McGrath (38 off 15) and Grace Harris (39 off 28) starred with the bat. The result took UPW to a strong position in the five-team tournament with six points, two behind second-placed Delhi Capitals.
Skipper Harmanpreet gave her team belief by grabbing a stunning one-handed catch to dismiss Devika Vaidya early in the chase. Alyssa Healy and Kiran Navgire didn’t contribute much with the bat either to leave UPW struggling at 27/3.
McGrath and Harris though went on the offensive as UPW surged ahead. The Australian right-handers found boundaries consistently as the match slipped away from Mumbai. New Zealand leg-spinner Amelia Kerr (2/22) removed both the set batters but Ecclestone (16* off 17) and Deepti Sharma (13* off 14) raised an unbeaten 24-run partnership to take the Warriorz home.
Mumbai’s innings never quite gathered momentum and it took three cameos – from Hayley Matthews, Harmanpreet and Issy Wong – to take them to a somewhat respectable total.
Opener Yastika Bhatia was removed cheaply before the in-form Natalie Sciver-Brunt registered her first single-digit score of the tournament. The England right-hander was trapped in front by compatriot Ecclestone, leaving MI in a spot of bother.
Matthews, who had started the tournament with a bang before going quiet in the previous two games, showed her power again, hitting three sixes in her 30-ball 35. Harmanpreet couldn’t get a third consecutive half-century but still made a 22-ball 25 in the middle order. Issy Wong (32 – 19b, 4×4, 1×6)) batted with great confidence at No 6, but it wasn’t enough to help MI avoid defeat.
For the Warriorz, Ecclestone led the way with the ball. The seasoned left-arm spinner dismissed Sciver-Brunt in her first over, Hayley Matthews in the second and Amanjot Kaur in the third to finish a remarkable spell.