WPL 2024: Just didn’t control last 12 balls that ultimately cost us a final spot, admits Charlotte Edwards

March 16, 2024
In the 2024 WPL Eliminator, Mumbai Indians needed 16 runs off 12 balls to win the final

New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) In the 2024 WPL Eliminator, Mumbai Indians needed 16 runs off 12 balls to win the final. But the defending champions couldn’t get those runs to eventually lose to the Royal Challengers Bangalore by five runs and bow out of the competition.

Head coach Charlotte Edwards rued her batters’ inability to take the team over the line in last 12 balls, where they wilted under pressure. “We’ve seen on this pitch if people stay over there. We would have taken 135 with the short boundary one side. We just didn’t control the last 12 balls that ultimately cost us a final spot.”

“That is something we will have to go and look at. Credit to RCB, they kept fighting and never gave up. The game is won or lost by small margins. Had Harman hit that six, it would have been our game.”

“It’s bitterly disappointing, it is harder for the players. They will have to relive those moments for a number of years. I am just disappointed because we responded well from the other day. We played well for 38 overs and let ourselves down for 12 balls,” said Charlotte in the post-match press conference.

She also denied suggestions that the MI lower-order didn’t have much match-practice to deal with pressure situations. “I think they all had opportunities throughout the season. They are not short of match practice. They all had time out there in the middle.”

“We lost because we just didn’t play those final 12 balls as well as we should have. I am proud of the team. We fought back with the ball and we were in control with the bat. The game is of small margins, and unfortunately we’ve missed out.”

Much before the equation became 16 off 12 balls, it was at a comfortable 20 off 18 balls. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur had survived a stumping chance when Richa Ghosh couldn’t collect the ball cleanly off Shreyanka Patil.

On the last ball of the game-changing 18th over, Harmanpreet holed out to long-on, and after that Mumbai couldn’t complete the chase of 136. Charlotte believed Harmanpreet’s wicket was the turning point of the match for the defending champions.

“You could see the lift it gave RCB. We equally back Harman to take that shot. Had it gone for a six, it would have been 12 off the last two overs and we would have been in the driver’s seat. I thought it went for six when she hit it. It is small margins and I think we could pick at a lot of situations that happened in that game, but we were in control and we let it slip.”

“You can pick and pull things apart, and you can just back the players to do what is best in that situation. Who am I to tell Harmanpreet Kaur to do what is the right thing to do after she has performed the way she has for us in the tournament.”

“At that point, that’s her shot, that’s her strength. With 16 needed off 12 balls, we should have still won that game. It is not down to that, but it is a pivotal moment in the game,” she elaborated.

In the post-match chat with the broadcasters, Harmanpreet too said her dismissal changed MI’s fortunes in the chase. “In 12 balls we just needed one boundary and we were not able to get it. That is what this game always teaches you. It puts you under pressure and you have to keep learning from it. When we lost my wicket, after that our batters could not hold their nerve, that was the turning point.”

Charlotte revealed Harmanpreet was upset over how MI’s campaign ended in a match which they should have won, but ended up being on the losing side. “She is very calm, quiet. She doesn’t say too much. But when she does speak, It is very much worth listening to. That’s why I love working with her. She is very good around the players.”

“She is sad that our tournament has ended the way it did. You can cope with it when you haven’t played very well but I thought we played well. We put a lot of things right from the other day. But it wasn’t good enough and I guess that’s why it’s the end of our tournament.”

There were lots of teary-eyed players in the MI camp after losing the Eliminator, and Charlotte hopes the five-run defeat will give them essential lessons of playing in high-pressure games.

“For some of these players, we forget, like someone like Sajana, has only played domestic cricket. This is the biggest stage they’ve played on, the WPL semi-final. Pressure does take a toll and that is why you want your top batters out there at the end of the game.”

“The players would be massively better from this kind of experience. It is never easy when we’ve lost the game when we should have won it. There are a lot of players hurting in the dressing room now and we will definitely learn from this and be stronger.”


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