WP 2024: Sajana's last-ball six, Harmanpreet, Yastika fifties help Mumbai Indians beat Delhi Capitals

February 23, 2024
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A last-ball six by debutante Sanjeevan Sajana after Yastika Bhatia (57) and Harmanpreet Kaur (55) struck breezy half-centuries to help Mumbai Indians

Bengaluru, Feb 23 (IANS) A last-ball six by debutante Sanjeevan Sajana after Yastika Bhatia (57) and Harmanpreet Kaur (55) struck breezy half-centuries to help Mumbai Indians defeat Delhi Capitals by four wickets in a last over thriller in the opening match of Season 2 of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Friday.

After Bollywood stars led by superstar Shah Rukh Khan lit up the night in the inaugural ceremony, Alice Capsey hammered a 53-ball 75 and along with Meg Lanning (31) and Jemimah Rodrigues (42) helped Delhi Capitals reach 171/5 in 20 overs after they were asked to bat first by the defending champions.

The match ebbed and flowed from one side to another, Mumbai Indians from a strong position reached the final over needing 12 runs from six balls. Alice Capsey, who had excelled with the bat, struck with the first ball of the last over to send back Pooja Vastrakar (1). Amanjot Kaur took two runs after Shafali Verma made a fine save and then ran a single. With nine needed off three balls, Harmanpreet struck a boundary.

But with five needed off two balls, the crowd was stunned as Harmanpreet was out as Annabel Sutherland caught a skier off a mighty heave leading Mumbai Indians needing five off the last ball with first-timer Sajana at the crease. The Indian youngster hammered Capsey for a first-ball six off a delivery in the slot at middle and leg to seal victory.

Earlier, Yastika Bhatia kept Mumbai Indians alive after Hayley Matthews was out for a two-ball duck. She and Nat Sciver-Brunt raised fifty runs for the second wicket off 33 balls before Yastika completed her half-century off 35 balls, studded with seven boundaries and two sixes. After Sciver-Brunt was out for 19, Yastika and Harmanpreet Kaur raised 56 runs for the third wicket.

Harmanpreet, who completed her half-century off 32 balls, hitting six fours and one six, kept the innings going, adding 44 runs for the fourth wicket with Amelia Kerr (24) as Mumbai Indians kept themselves on course. However, Amelia Kerr and Pooja Vastrakar got out as things progressed before the last-minute drama ensured.

Earlier, Delhi Capitals recovered from the early departure of opener Shafali Verma to post a challenging total thanks to a 53-ball 75 by English all-rounder Alice Capsey and her two half-century partnerships with skipper Meg Lanning (31) and Jemimah Rodrigues (42). After rookie pacer Shabnim Ismail made the breakthrough by castling Shafali Verma (1) in the third over, Lanning and Capsey, who are otherwise archrivals representing Australia and England, came together to revive the innings.

Lanning and Capsey raised 64 runs for the second wicket in around eight overs, taking the score to 67 before the Australian opener was out, caught by Sajeevan Sajana off England allrounder Nat Sciver-Brunt, who was the best bowler on the day with 2-33. In her 25-ball 31, Lanning struck three boundaries and one maximum.

Capsey then added breezy 74 runs for the third wicket with Jemimah Rodrigues, taking the score to 141 runs in the 18th over. Capsey who was the next to get out, completed her half-century off 36 balls, hitting six boundaries and two sixes.

Capsey, who started with back-to-back boundaries off Nat Sciver-Brunt in the fourth over, hammered Hayley Matthews for two sixes in the 12th over, picking her off the leg stump and followed it up with one over wide long-on for an 85m six. The next ball, she threatened it through the gap between point and backward point for a superb boundary to reach fifty.

Capsey was dropped by Sajana at backward point off Shabnim Ismail before she eventually fell to Amelia Kerr, trapped leg before by a straight one. Jemimah continued to pile the runs, reaching 42 off 24 deliveries, hitting five boundaries and two maximums as Delhi Capitals posted 171/5 in 20 overs.

Brief scores:

Delhi Capitals 171/5 in 20 overs (Alice Capsey 75, Jemimah Rodrigues 42, Meg Lanning 31; Nat Sciver-Brunt 2-33, Amelia Kerr 2-43) lost to Mumbai Indians 173/6 in 20 overs (Yastika Bhatia 57, Harmanpreet Kaur 55, Amelia Kerr 24; Arundhati Reddy 2-27, Alice Capsey 2-23) by four wickets.

–IANS

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