The inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) got off to a sensational start as Mumbai Indians (MI) handed Gujarat Giants (GG) a colossal 143-run defeat in the opening game at Dr. DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Saturday, March 4. After being put in to bat, Mumbai Indians’ batters Hayley Matthews, Nat Sciver-Brunt, captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Amelia Kerr all came to the party as the home team posted a mammoth total of 207 runs on the board.
The score proved to be too much for the Giants as they folded for 64 after their skipper Beth Mooney got retired hurt in the first over itself.
The star of the show with the bat for MI was Harmanpreet, who continued from where she left off in the T20 World Cup semi-final, smashing bowlers to all parts of the ground. Put in to bat, one batter doing the bulk of the scoring, the opposition being shot out for a double-digit score…
Where had we seen all of this before? Yes, 15 years ago, when the Indian Premier League began, Kolkata Knight Riders did the same to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) when Brendon McCullum went berserk scoring an unbeaten 158 off just 73 balls. In that game too, the opposition was shot out for a meagre 82 after KKR posted a massive 222.
1. The team winning the toss (RCB in IPL, GG in WPL) elects to bowl first but the team batting first (KKR in IPL, GG in WPL) wins the game.
2. The team losing the toss is sent in to bat first and posts a total of 200-plus (222 by KKR in IPL, 207 by MI in WPL.)
3. The win margin over 140 runs (KKR beat RCB by 140 runs, MI beat GG by 143 runs.)
4. The highest individual score of the team batting first was more than the score of the team batting second (McCullum’s 158* was 76 more than RCB’s 82, while Harmanpreet’s 65 was just one run more than GG’s 64.)
5. The strike rate of the top-scorer of the team batting first (McCullum’s was 216.43 while Harmanpreet struck at 216.67.)
6. The innings of the team batting second finished in exactly 15.1 overs (RCB 82 all-out, GG 64.)
After Beth Mooney got injured in the first over itself, the Giants lost the wicket of Harleen Deol in the very same over and they couldn’t recover from that. Nat Sciver-Brunt and Issy Wong dismissed the top order before the Bengal spinner wreaked havoc with a four-wicket haul as apart from Dayalan Hemalatha, no other GG batter could score much.
To add insult to injury, GG will be in action again on Sunday, March 5 and would have to put that massive loss behind as they don’t have much time and any other option.
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