Whether Delhi Capitals can recover the damage with their bowling will be interesting. But right now, they are under high pressure, for they put on a mere 131/9 in their 20 overs against Mumbai Indians on Sunday (March 26) at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai in the final of the Women’s Premier League (WPL). Issy Wong and Hayley Mattews were the demolishers who didn’t let the Capitals steady their ship.
The decision to choose batting by Meg Lanning proved wrong. They might have planned to go for huge runs in the powerplay. They tried to execute the same with Shafali Verma going for six and four in the second over off Issy Wong. Wong, who had taken WPL’s first-ever hat-trick in the playoffs against UP Warriorz, drew the first blood when she dismissed Verma (11 off four balls with a six and name number of four).
One ball later, new batter Alice Capsey also departed for a duck. Next batter Jemimah Rodrigues’ innings was short-lived ( nine off eight runs with two fours) due to Wong, who made Rodrigues her third victim.
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Then captain Lanning and Marizanne Kapp tried to stabilize the innings for a while. Delhi’s next wicket fell in the 11th over, bowled by Amelia Kerr who dismissed Kapp (18 off 21 runs with two fours).
In the next over, Delhi’s misery was compounded by Lanning’s wicket through Amanjot Kaur’s run out. The single was not needed but still, the batters had gone for it. Amanjot collected the ball and fired toward Yastika Bhatia who was standing at the striker’s end. Bhatia wasted no time in dislodging the bails and Lanning fell short of the crease. Lanning departed after scoring 35 runs from 29 balls with five boundaries. This was Delhi’s fifth wicket.
Delhi might have lost all hope. A couple of wickets fell quickly then. Star all-rounder Jess Jonassen was sent into packing by Amelia Kerr for two runs, and Arundhati Reddy was another batter to fall for a duck. Minnu Mani and Taniyaa Bhatia fell for one and duck respectively.
But two batters, who displayed how to bat under extreme pressure were Shikha Pandey and Radha Yadav. The two fought hard in the last few overs with sixes and fours to take Delhi to 131/9. Both the batters remained unbeaten at 27 runs. While Shikha took 17 balls to score 27 runs with three fours and a six, Radha slammed two boundaries and an equal number of sixes at a monstrous strike rate of 225. At a time when reaching the three-figure mark looked impossible, Radha and Shikha displayed a nerve of steel by stitching 52*-run stand for the 10th wicket.
Among the Mumbai Indians bowlers, Hayley Matthews and Issy Wong scalped three wickets each, while Amelia Kerr got two. Now Delhi need to display incredible cricket to defend this low target against a team that has names like Hayley Matthews, Nat Sciver-Brunt, and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur.
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