WPL 2023: It's Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians in the Final; Isabelle Wong's hat-trick eliminates UP Warriorz
WPL 2023: The eliminator clash between Mumbai Indians and UP Warriorz ended in favour of the former, winning by 72 runs, as MI will be taking on table-topper Delhi Capitals in the Final on Sunday.
Isabelle Wong (4/15) recorded the first hat-trick of the 2023 Women's Premier League (WPL) after Nat Sciver-Brunt's brutal 38-ball 72 as Mumbai Indians (MI) stormed into the final with a 72-run thrashing of UP Warriorz (UPW) in the Eliminator at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.
The final of the inaugural WPL will be played between the two best sides that occupied the top two spots of the points table with 12 points each, Delhi Capitals (DC) and MI, on Sunday at the Brabourne Stadium. Having set a daunting 183-run target, MI blew away what had been a committed top and middle-order of the UPW, with Wong producing a superb hat-trick in the 13th over to seal the outcome in favour of her side.
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After removing the dangerous Alyssa Healy (11) early and getting rid of an on-song Kiran Navgire (43), Wong cleaned up Simran Sheikh (0) and Sophie Ecclestone (0) to take a wicket each on the second, third and fourth deliveries of her third over to produce a match-winning spell. UPW was shot out for a mere 110 in 17.4 overs.
Navgire waged a lone battle for UPW with an entertaining 27-ball 43 with four fours and three sixes, but none of the other batters troubled the scorers in what turned out to be a one-sided contest. UPW was off to a disastrous start, losing openers Healy and Shweta Sehrawat (1) inside the first three overs.
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While Saika Ishaque (2.4-1-24-2) produced a wicket-maiden second over that included the scalp of Sehrawat, Wong got Healy caught by her counterpart Harmanpreet Kaur at mid-off in the third. Mumbai dealt another severe blow on the UPW when batting mainstay Tahlia McGrath (7) was run out in the fifth over while trying to steal a single from a packed off-side field.
With its backs pressed firmly against the wall, Navgire took the attack to Mumbai with two fours and a six off Ishaque, and Grace Harris also got a four. The sixth over yielded 20 runs for UPW, 46/3 at the end of the PowerPlay (PP). Navgire also got a lifeline when she tried to clear the ropes again, off Amelia Kerr, with Hayley Matthews (1/13) spilling a regulation chance.
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Navgire and Harris' fourth-wicket stand for 35 runs was eventually broken in the eighth over when Sciver-Brunt claimed her first wicket, getting the latter caught by Wong for 14. At the halfway stage, UPW was 63/4. Navgire then smacked two sixes off Kerr and Deepti Sharma (16) got a four to collect 19 runs from the 12th over, but MI broke its stand soon.
Navgire perished after playing one straight to deep midwicket, after a quickfire 43, off Wong. The English bowler struck on the next delivery to clean up Sheikh and had Ecclestone chop one onto her wickets to complete her hat-trick. In the first innings, Sciver-Brunt's blistering unbeaten 72 powered MI to a daunting total.
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Sciver-Brunt was at her brutal best with the bat, clobbering nine fours and two sixes to make an unbeaten 72 and certainly made the most of an early lifeline when she was on six, with Sophie Ecclestone (2/39) dropping a regulation catch off Rajeshwari Gayakwad at mid-off. UPW controlled the first half of the knockout clash through their spin bowlers, not allowing Mumbai batters to get away or notch up any big individual totals, barring Sciver-Brunt, who seemed to be unstoppable.
The right-handed Sciver-Brunt provided much-needed impetus late for MI in the company of Kerr (29 off 19 balls, 5x4s), adding 60 runs for the fourth wicket. Having added 78 runs from overs 5-15, MI smashed 66 runs in the last five overs to put up a stiff total. The likes of Yastika Bhatia (21), Matthews (26) and Kaur (14) got starts, but UPW kept control for a large part of the game after an erratic start.
Brief scores: MI 182/4 in 20 overs (Nat Sciver-Brunt- 72*; Sophie Ecclestone- 2/39) defeated UPW 110 in 17.4 overs (Kiran Navgire- 43; Issy Wong- 4/15) by 72 runs.