Women’s Premier League: Nat Sciver-Brunt helps Mumbai Indians beat Delhi Capitals to win title
|Women’s Premier League, Mumbai|
|Delhi Capitals 131-9 (20 overs): Lanning 35 (29); Matthews 3-5|
|Mumbai Indians 134-3 (19.3 overs): Sciver-Brunt 60* (55); Radha 1-24|
|Mumbai Indians won by seven wickets|
Mumbai Indians were crowned champions of the inaugural Women’s Premier League with a seven-wicket win over Delhi Capitals.
England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt scored 60 not out as Mumbai reached their target of 132 with three balls to spare.
Needing five from the last over, Sciver-Brunt hit the third ball for four to seal victory.
Delhi recovered from 79-9, with Hayley Matthews taking 3-5, to eventually post 131-9 from their 20 overs.
In front of a raucous crowd at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, Meg Lanning’s Delhi won the toss and chose to bat, but were in early trouble at 35-3 as England bowler Issy Wong took three wickets.
Lanning and Marizanne Kapp added 38 for the fourth wicket but Delhi unravelled in a collapse of six wickets for just six runs, slipping from 73-3 to 79-9.
But an unbroken 10th-wicket stand of 52 in 24 balls between Shikha Pandey and Radha Yadav, who both made 27, steered Delhi out of danger.
Mumbai stuttered late in their chase when captain Harmanpreet Kaur was run out for 37 in the 17th over after a crucial partnership of 72 with Sciver-Brunt.
But Amelia Kerr’s calm 14 not out supported Sciver-Brunt, who hit the winning runs with a ramp for four off England team-mate Alice Capsey.
Sciver-Brunt shines on the biggest stage
All-rounder Sciver-Brunt was the second-most expensive buy of the WPL behind India batter Smriti Mandhana, and she made sure to justify her price tag with 132 unbeaten runs across both the eliminator and the final.
Dehli were fired up defending their low total, and had Mumbai wobbling with the two early wickets of openers Matthews and Yastika Bhatia.
But Sciver-Brunt absorbed all pressure, seeming to block out the noise of the vibrant crowd, and started cautiously with eight from 19 balls.
The run-rate crept up gradually but she remained calm to be there at the end, hitting seven fours in her innings and found valuable support in Kerr.
With 21 runs needed from the final two overs, Kerr hit two vital fours in the 19th over to ease any Mumbai nerves.
It completed a fine day for the New Zealand all-rounder who also took 2-18, but went under the radar among Sciver-Brunt and Matthews’ remarkable performances.
The result also added to former England captain Charlotte Edwards’ reputation as a coach, after multiple successes with Southern Vipers, leading Southern Brave to successive Hundred finals and taking Sydney Sixers to the final of Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League.
‘One of my greatest moments in cricket’ – what they said
Mumbai Indians captain Harmanpreet Kaur: “It has been an amazing experience for all of us and everybody in our dressing room has enjoyed it.
“It feels like a dream, not only for me but for everyone, the fans as well. We know how long people have been waiting for a WPL and I am so proud that it has gone so well.”
Delhi Capitals captain Meg Lanning: “There’s no doubt we’d have loved to win but full credit to Mumbai, they have been excellent all tournament.
“I can’t fault the effort from our girls. We didn’t play our best game but we fought right to the end and I am very proud of my team.
“It has been such an enjoyable experience. Delhi has been an excellent franchise to be a part of. We have felt so welcome and I have no doubt it will grow and get better every year.”
Mumbai Indians all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt: “That was very special. I am very glad I was able to stick it out when the pressure was on and be there at the end.
“This means everything to me. At the start of this competition we didn’t quite know what to expect but it has been really special to be involved. This is a special group of players.”
Mumbai Indians head coach Charlotte Edwards: “We’re over the moon. To work with [Jhulan] Goswami and share the experience with her and win the title is up there as one of my greatest moments in cricket.
“They’ve been an unbelievable group. They’ve stuck together and gelled brilliantly and there are some strong friendships now built, which is amazing to be around.”