Sciver-Brunt guides Mumbai Indians to inaugural WPL title

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MUMBAI, India (AP) — Guiding the chase with a mature half-century, Nat Sciver-Brunt helped Mumbai Indians beat Delhi Capitals by seven wickets on Sunday to become the first champions of the Women’s Premier League.

Allrounder Sciver-Brunt scored 60 not out off 55 balls, her third half-century of the season and second in two games, as Mumbai finished with 134-3 in 19.3 overs in reply to Delhi’s 131-9.

Mumbai spinner Hayley Matthews took three wickets for five runs in four overs, including two maidens. Medium-pacer Issy Wong finished with 3-42 as she and English compatriot Sciver-Brunt again impressed, just like the eliminator when they helped Mumbai beat UP Warriors on Friday with Wong earning the first hat trick in the WPL.

Opting to bat first, Delhi got off to a poor start when India’s Shafali Verma was ruled out caught in a controversial decision. Wong delivered a full toss that seemed to be sailing above the stumps, yet Verma was out of her crease when she sliced a catch to point, with the umpires ruling her out.

Delhi was down to 12-2 as Wong dismissed Alice Capsey for a two-ball duck.

Jemimah Rodrigues (9) became Wong’s third wicket on the night to make it 35-3 in 4.2 overs.

Australia’s Meg Lanning, the leading run-scorer of the tournament, scored 35 off 29 balls to rebuild the innings. She hit five fours and added 38 runs with Marizanne Kapp (18).

Kapp was caught behind in the 11th over, and the game further turned on its head in the 12th when Lanning was run out after a mix-up with fellow Australian Jess Jonassen (2).

Matthews then got into the act with her off-spin and struck three times in the space of 11 deliveries to leave Delhi tottering at 79-9 in 16 overs.

The last-wicket partnership of Radha Yadav and Shikha Pandey put on an amazing 52 runs off the last 24 balls to take the Capitals to a fighting total.

Yadav hit 27 not out off 12, while Pandey also scored 27 not out off 17 balls, as the duo hit five fours and three sixes to change the momentum.

Yadav then also struck early into the Mumbai innings, dismissing opener Yastika Bhatia (4). At the other end, Jonassen had Matthews (13) caught in the deep as Mumbai was down to 23-2.

Sciver-Brunt held one end together and denied any further inroads to the Delhi bowlers. In doing so, she put on 72 runs off 75 balls with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur for the third wicket in a vital partnership.

Kaur made 37 off 39, including five fours, before she was run-out.

Sciver-Brunt followed up her half-century in the eliminator with another 50 off 52 balls as Mumbai crossed the 100-mark.

She also got the winning runs with her seventh boundary of the innings. Amelia Kerr finished with 14 not out off eight balls.

Sciver-Brunt finished as the second highest run-scorer in this inaugural WPL season, with 332 runs in 10 innings. Lanning hit 345 runs in nine innings.

Matthews and England’s Sophie Ecclestone were joint-highest wicket takers with 16 each.

“The pitch assisted me today when I was bowling and I am happy to get the team to a win. It is a crazy win, hopefully the first of many," Matthews said. "To create history and bring the trophy home is great.”

The men’s Indian Premier League 2023 season begins March 31.


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