MI clinch victory but fall short of surpassing DC’s NRR
“Mumbai Indians (MI) defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 4 wickets at the DY Patil stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday, capping the league stage of the Women’s Premier League with six victories out of eight (March 21). Kerr’s three-wicket haul, combined with two wickets each from Nat Sciver-Brunt and Issy Wong, limited RCB to 125/9. After a strong start, MI lost quick wickets and were unable to reach the mark in 11.3 overs in order to surpass Delhi Capitals’ Net Run Rate. With 3.3 overs left, MI triumphed thanks to a 47-run stand between Kerr (31* off 27) and Pooja Vastrakar, who joined forces at 73/4. Before being caught off a no-ball for overstepping, Hayley Matthews smashed a six and a four in Sophie Devine’s exciting second over, which saw MI score 23 runs in only two overs.
Yastika Bhatia, who had hit a boundary off Megan Schutt in the opening over, then smacked two fours off Shreyanka Patil and three more times off Ellyse Perry. Smriti Mandhana was stationed at mid-on as Yastika lost the penultimate ball of the powerplay. Despite juggling the ball, she managed to hold on to it, resulting in the side being left at 53/1. Matthews’ boundary off of Shreyanka had moved MI to the 50-run mark in the sixth over. Nat Sciver-Brunt hit a boundary off Asha Shobana, but Matthews was bowled by Mandhana at cover after Matthews was bowled by Schutt in the following over. Sciver-Brunt hit Shobana for a six, but shortly after he tumbled, edging to the ‘keeper. Next, Harmanpreet pulled a Perry pitch onto the stumps.
After hitting a boundary each off Perry and Shobana, Kerr and Vastrakar continued their attacking approach. Vastrakar, in particular, smashed two fours off Shreyanka’s bowling, propelling MI’s score into the 90s by the end of the 12th over. Otherwise, Kerr and Vastrakar were content to rotate the strike and gather the singles and doubles to move MI closer. The 14th over saw MI pass 100 thanks to Schutt’s scoop shot over the wicket keeper’s head, which gave Kerr her third four. The partnership, however, came to an end when Vastrakar, who attempted to knock a Kanika Ahuja delivery over the top, instead handed a catch to Mandhana at far off. In the same over, Wong also failed, giving Mandhana her fourth catch. In the 17th over, Mandhana finished the game by bowling five wides, and Kerr hit him for a four.
As Heather Knight attempted to cross the fence, she was caught at long on, giving Kerr her second wicket. With only 18 runs allowed off of her four overs, Matthews finished her frugal stint. On a field that favored the slower bowlers, RCB struggled to get momentum, scoring only 79 for 4 at the conclusion of the 15th over.
Richa Ghosh started things off by smashing a four and a six off Wong in the 15th over, both aiming for the leg-side boundary. Despite some good performances from the MI team, Perry became the sixth player to depart after being caught in front by Sciver-Brunt. In that very same over, Sciver-Brunt also bowled out Shreyanka. Ghosh managed to hit a six off Saika’s bowling, but Schutt was able to dismiss her after the umpires reviewed the dismissal, with both the batswoman and the fielding team requesting a review. During the same over, Ghosh was also lucky to survive a catch when Wong was unable to hold on to a chance off Kerr’s bowling, after scoring a streaky boundary earlier in the over. Kerr ultimately caught Ghosh in the deep for the final wicket, while Wong also took out Disha Kasat to put RCB in check.