In front of a packed crowd at DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai Indians kicked off the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) with an impressive 207/5 against Gujarat Giants, thanks to a stunning half-century by Captain Harmanpreet Kaur.
Kaur’s knock of 65 off just 30 balls (14x4s) included a quickfire partnership of 89 runs with Amelia Kerr, who made 45 not out from 24 balls. Mumbai Indians scored 62 runs from the last 30 balls of their innings to reach a total in excess of 200, the first team to do so in the tournament.
Gujarat Giants, who won the toss and opted to field, committed several fielding errors, including bowling many deliveries on the leg side. Kaur began her impressive knock with consecutive fours off Sneh Rana in the 11th over, and went on to hit two more fours off Georgia Wareham in the 12th over, and gave similar treatment to Annabel Sutherland in the next over.
In the 15th over, Kaur hit four consecutive fours off Monica Patel to collect 21 runs from the over, making it the most expensive over of the innings. Despite losing an early wicket in the form of Yastika Bhatia (1), Mumbai Indians remained aggressive with the bat, with Hayley Matthews providing the initial fireworks during her 54-run stand for the second wicket with Nat Sciver-Brunt (23).
Although Sciver-Brunt fell for an 18-ball 23, Matthews continued to score and hit a couple of sixes off Annabel Sutherland in the eighth over. However, Matthews’ charge towards the first-ever WPL half-century was ended by Gardner after the strategic break, when she missed connecting with the ball which dismantled her stumps.
Tanuja Kanwar provided Gujarat Giants with their first breakthrough in the third over, with Yastika Bhatia hitting one straight into the hands of Georgia Wareham at point.