Mumbai, March 6 (IANS) A magnificent 143-run partnership between Hayley Matthews and Nat Sciver-Brunt helped Mumbai Indians thrash Royal Challengers Bangalore by nine wickets in the fourth match of WPL 2023 at Brabourne Stadium on Monday.
After Hayley took three wickets to be the standout bowler in bundling out Bangalore for 155 in 18.4 overs, she led the chase from the front with 77 not out off 38 balls, hitting 13 fours and a six. Nat, on the other hand, was the perfect partner to Hayley by smashing 55 not out off 29 balls, including nine fours and a six.
The duo’s dominating efforts, combined with a listless bowling plus fielding show from Bangalore, meant Mumbai hit 97 runs between overs seven and 15, propelling them to register their second straight win of the competition.
Chasing 156, Yastika Bhatia got some crisp timing while lapping and sweeping Preeti Bose for two boundaries in the second over. With Renuka Singh Thakur erring in her line and length, Yastika was precise in her cut and flick to pick a brace of boundaries, before square-driving off Megan Schutt in the next over.
On the other hand, Hayley was effortless in her stroke play. When Preeti pitched down the leg, Hayley went back and nonchalantly pulled for six, before going inside-out over extra cover for four more. But Preeti had her first wicket in the fifth over by trapping Yastika plumb lbw.
Hayley marched forward by punching and driving off Megan for two fours in the final over of power-play, before tickling down leg off Ellyse Perry for another boundary. Nat duly punished short balls from Shreyanka Patil for back-to-back boundaries and ended the eighth over with a reverse lap past the third man going for four.
Hayley continued to find gaps by glancing and lofting off Renuka to get her fifty at the halfway mark of the chase. Bangalore continued to be all over the place with their bowling as Hayley and Nat took a boundary each off Sophie Devine, before combining to take three off Megan.
Their fielding also showed lapses as Nat took a four and six off Shreyanka’s short balls, followed by Hayley taking back-to-back fours off anything given outside off-stump. Nat reached her fifty with a slap past mid-off against Ellyse and finished off the chase with a swipe past mid-on to complete the chase with 34 balls to spare.
Earlier, Sophie and Smriti Mandhana gave Bangalore a flying start, by taking them to 39/0. Saika Ishaque began the meltdown by having Sophie slog-sweeping straight to midwicket in the fifth over. Two balls later, she foxed Disha Kasat with a tossed-up slower-through-the-air delivery to hit the middle stump.
In the next over, Hayley deepened Bangalore’s troubles as Smriti danced down the pitch to loft through the line, but sliced to backward point. On the very next ball, Hayley got some turn in to go past Heather Knight and crash into the stumps.
Ellyse slammed a loft down the ground over Amelia’s head while Richa Ghosh whacked two fours and a six to inject some momentum into Bangalore’s innings. Though Richa survived a caught behind appeal off Nat despite clear deflection, the indecisive running between the wickets meant the scare of a run-out loomed.
It finally happened when Ellyse fell short of her crease via a direct hit from short third man in the ninth over. Kanika Ahuja enthralled the crowd with a sweep and swipe off Amelia for four and six respectively.
She then welcomed Jintimani Kalita with two boundaries, before a leading edge on a cross-bat shot was caught by the keeper off Pooja Vastrakar in the 13th over. In the next over, Richa went for slog-sweep off Hayley but holed out to deep mid-wicket.
Shreyanka was impressive with her fast hands and timing the ball well while picking three boundaries in her 15-ball 23. But Nat ended her stay by trapping her plumb lbw. Though Megan kept the boundaries going, Amelia had her stumped and castled Renuka to end Bangalore’s innings on a below-par score.
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 155 all out in 18.4 overs (Richa Ghosh 28, Shreyanka Patil 23; Hayley Matthews 3-28, Saika Ishaque 2-26) lost to Mumbai Indians 159/1 in 14.2 overs (Hayley Matthews 77 not out, Nat Sciver-Brunt 55 not out; Preeti Bose 1-34) by nine wickets