Recent Match Report – MI Women vs UPW Women Eliminator 2022/23
Mumbai Indians 182 for 4 (Nat Sciver-Brunt 72*, Ecclestone 2-39) beat UP Warriorz 110 all out (Navgire 43, Wong 4-15) by 72 runs
For most of the WPL, Mumbai were predicted to reach the final directly. They had won five straight matches and looked near invincible… till they lost two on the trot and were suddenly table-toppers no longer.
They had to play the Eliminator against Warriorz, the team that had ended their winning streak in the league stage. And in the first knockout game, the Mumbai from the first half of WPL showed up, dominating with bat and ball to reach the final comfortably, if one game late.
Sciver-Brunt stands up and delivers
Nat Sciver-Brunt, the joint-most expensive overseas player at the auction, stood up and delivered at the time Mumbai needed her the most. She had not had the best of games in the last few outings, which had coincided with her team’s downturn in fortune.
But in a knockout game, she came good with an unbeaten 72 off 38 balls on a pitch that didn’t look to be the best for batting.
Sciver-Brunt was dropped when she was on just 6 by Sophie Ecclestone on the last ball of the Powerplay, and she punished the error heavily. She kept the innings going even as Hayley Matthews and Harmanpreet fell at the other end and then built a 60-run stand with Amelia Kerr in just 37 balls.
Sciver-Brunt’s knock was crucial given Mumbai’s under-exposed middle and lower order had struggled to make big runs when the top was dismissed early. The pattern was almost repeated when Harmanpreet fell with just about a 100 on board and the Warriorz spin strength slowly stifling the runs.
Shout out to Pooja Vastrakar as well, who slammed 11 off just 4 balls after coming in the final over, including a massive 87-metre six.
Wong on song
In the second innings, it was another English allrounder than starred for Mumbai.
The first hat-trick of the WPL came via an out-and-out pace bowler as Wong put the match out of the Warriorz’ reach in the 13th over with the wickets of the well-set Kiran Navgire, Simran Shaikh and Ecclestone.
She had already struck with the big wicket, that of birthday girl Healy, to give Mumbai the ideal start. She then sealed the match with the hat-trick.
Mumbai dismissed the spine of the Warriorz’ batting line-up – their three Australians – within eight overs. Navgire, who had a string of poor scores after her opening-match fifty, kept the momentum going and landed some big hits, including a huge 89-metre six.
But as is her wont, she went for a big one on a full toss and was caught at the boundary. Thus started Wong’s song.
Next up was Shaikh, who was castled with a full delivery she completely missed. Then came Ecclestone, who had a bit of history. The last time these two teams met, Ecclestone had smacked Wong for a six in the last over to hand Mumbai their first loss of the season. This time, she was out for a golden duck with her stumps broken. Wong’s last two wickets were the kind to go in a pace bowling highlights reel.