Matches (11)
IPL (2)
County DIV1 (5)
County DIV2 (4)
9th Match (N), Bengaluru, March 02, 2024, Women's Premier League
(15.1/20 ov, T:132) 133/3

MI Women won by 7 wickets (with 29 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
40* (24)
Cricinfo's MVP
66.49 ptsImpact List

Bhatia, Sciver-Brunt and Kerr seal clinical chase for Mumbai

Despite an unbeaten 44 from Ellyse Perry, RCB could only muster 131 for 6

S Sudarshanan
S Sudarshanan
Yastika Bhatia came out swinging during Mumbai's chase  •  BCCI

Yastika Bhatia came out swinging during Mumbai's chase  •  BCCI

Mumbai Indians 133 for 3 (Kerr 40*, Bhatia 31, Patil 1-15) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 131 for 6 (Perry 44*, Wareham 27, Vastrakar 2-14, Sciver-Brunt 2-27) by seven wickets
Mumbai Indians continued their rich vein of form in WPL 2024, running Royal Challengers Bangalore ragged with both bat and ball to seal a seven-wicket win. This despite missing a couple of their frontline players - Harmanpreet Kaur and Shabnim Ismail.
Ismail's replacement, Issy Wong, set the tone with the new ball, key India allrounder Pooja Vastrakar left her imprints in the middle phase with the ball, Saika Ishaque was back among the wickets after a quiet start to the competition, all while stand-in captain Nat Sciver-Brunt left her stamp on the field, with the ball and later with the bat. All these meant that RCB were kept to a mere 131 - despite an unbeaten 38-ball 44 from Ellyse Perry who returned to the XI - a total which Mumbai overhauled with little fuss.
In doing so, Mumbai not just went to the top of the points table, but also maintained a clean slate in run-chases in the competition.

Perry good and the not-so good

Teams batting first have had a tough time in WPL 2024. Even so, RCB are one of the two teams to have a win while defending a score. But on Saturday, they couldn't get a strong start and lost Smriti Mandhana and S Meghana inside five overs. Which brought Perry, who was ill for the past few days, to the crease. On a brownish surface, where run-scoring was not the easiest, she took time to get going, scoring only three off her first nine balls.
A shortish ball from legspinner SB Keerthana in the tenth over allowed her to score her first boundary - a pull through square leg. In fact, all of her five fours came off deliveries that were on a length or short. That the illness had sapped her energy was becoming evident as the innings progressed. Mumbai's stand-in captain Sciver-Brunt rotated her bowlers such that no bowler bowled back-to-back overs. And they also rarely erred in lines and lengths, which handicapped Perry.
Only Georgia Wareham offered a bit of support to Perry - the duo were involved in a 52-run sixth-wicket partnership - which allowed RCB to get to a respectable score. Apart from them, only Meghana and Sophie Molineux entered double digits and RCB finished their innings without a single six.

Bhatia, Matthews swift in chase

Yastika Bhatia and Hayley Matthews began in a manner that would dispel any doubts over the tricky nature of the 132-run chase. They are one of the most prolific pairs in terms of partnership runs in the WPL - 431 runs with four fifty-plus stands - and started off in dominating fashion. Bhatia punched the first ball she faced down the ground, Matthews played a short-arm jab through midwicket off her first - both off Renuka Singh's opening over. The left-arm spin of Molineux was greeted with a six and a four by Bhatia as Mumbai began their hunt in the fourth gear.
Renuka went the distance in her second over too, the third of the innings. Matthews capitalised on an overpitched one and then on the width for two fours. Bhatia played one of the most gorgeous pick-up shots over midwicket for a six in between.
Sophie Devine was called upon with Mumbai 37 for 0 in three and she struck on her fifth ball. Bhatia hit successive fours before getting a thick outside edge that was snaffled by a diving Richa Ghosh to her left. Matthews then greeted Wareham's legspin with a six but soon fell to Shreyanka Patil for a 21-ball 26. Mumbai had already reduced 69 from their target by then.

Sciver-Brunt, Kerr apply finish touches

In the absence of Harmanpreet, Kerr continued to bat at No. 4 and proved to be the perfect foil for Sciver-Brunt. She began with a couple of shots through the leg side off medium-pacer Simran Bahadur. The first was a pristinely-timed flick through midwicket while the other was a back-foot clip between deep square leg and deep midwicket. She also feasted of the spin of Patil and Asha Sobhana, even as Sciver-Brunt steadily accumulated the runs. Kerr and Sciver-Brunt added 49 off just 35 runs together for the third wicket.
Despite not playing the fancy scoops and reverse sweeps, Kerr finished with a strike rate of 166.66, while staying unbeaten on 40 off 24, and saw Mumbai through.

S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Sudarshanan7

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Over 16 • MI-W 133/3

MI Women won by 7 wickets (with 29 balls remaining)
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