WPL 2023: Mcgrath, Harris and bowlers star in UP Warriorz’s thrilling 5-wicket win over Mumbai Indians

Riding on some fine batting by Tahlia McGrath and Grace Harris and brilliant bowling efforts by their bowlers, UP Warriorz ended Mumbai Indians’ unbeaten streak with a thrilling 5-wicket win in match 15 of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) at DY Patil Stadium here on Saturday.

Riding on some fine batting by Tahlia McGrath and Grace Harris and brilliant bowling efforts by their bowlers, UP Warriorz ended Mumbai Indians’ unbeaten streak with a thrilling 5-wicket win in match 15 of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) at DY Patil Stadium here on Saturday.

After the brilliant show with the ball that helped them bundle out Mumbai Indians for 127 in 20 overs, UP Warriorz chased down the target with three balls remaining, courtesy of a 38 off 25 by McGrath and 39 off 28 balls by Harris.

Chasing 128, the Warriorz had a slow start with just one run off the first over. Hayley Matthews drew the first blood in the second over, trapping Devika Vaidya for one. Vaidya tried to drive but got a thick edge. Harmanpreet Kaur, stationed at first slip, dived to her right and snapped up a stupendous one-handed catch.

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Having scored some much-needed runs, Issy Wong continued her impressive show with the ball as well and sent Alyssa Healy packing in the sixth over. Healy tried to flick across the line but missed it as the ball smashed into the pads. The appeal was ignored by the umpire.

Mumbai Indians took the DRS as Issy was sure. UltraEdge showed a flat line when the ball passes the bat and Healy headed back to the pavilion.

There was another chance for MI to make a further dent in Warriorz’s innings but Yastika Bhatia missed it. Tahlia McGrath has a tame push inside the line and edged the ball to the keeper and Yastika Bhatia dived across but failed to hold on to the catch.

McGrath nudge the length delivery and beat short fine leg for four at the end of the Powerplay and UP Warriorz was reeling at 27 for 2.

MI were on a roll after the powerplay as Natalie Sciver-Brunt dished out a short ball around the middle and leg stump which Kiran Navgire attempted to pull across the line but the ball ended up in Yastika’s gloves and Warriorz were reduced to 27/3 in 6.1 overs.

After that, Grace Harris and McGrath gradually started building the partnership with their well-timed shots while rotating the strike with singles. McGrath was at her supreme best, hitting three boundaries to Saika Ishaque in the 11th over to escalate the run rate.

In the 12 over, Amelia Kerr got MI the much-needed breakthrough, getting McGrath caught and bowled for 33. After hitting Kerr for four, McGrath didn’t read her googly. The latter wanted to smash the drive over cover, but the bat turned in her hands, and the ball went to the bowler, who held on to a wonderful catch, ending the 44-run fourth-wicket partnership.

Grace Harris was looking for much control in her 39-run innings decorated with seven boundaries before falling to Kerr that ended 34 run partnership with Deepti Sharma.

Harris went for a big down the ground but it took the toe end of her bat and the ball flew to the long one where Issy took a sharp catch. With 23 needed off 26 balls, Sophie Ecclestone walked in to join Deepti in the run chase. Saika Ishaque’s brilliant bowling in the 17 over brought the equation 20 off 20.

In the next over, Ecclestone turned on the back foot and hit it behind square leg for a boundary to Kerr followed by a dot ball and a couple of singles and dots, bringing the equation to 13 off 12.

Matthew started the penultimate over well with two singles and a dot but Deepti stepped up and hit a short ball for a boundary.

But the drama continued as there was an appeal for an lbw and run out. Deepti went down for the paddle sweep but doesn’t get the connection right. She called Ecclestone through for the single, who has to gallop to make her ground when Bhatia broke the stumps and appealed for run-out. The third umpire wanted to have a look at the run-out.

The former’s appeal was turned down and Harmanpreet took the DRS. UltraEdge showed that the ball has not struck the pad and has gone off the toe end, thus Deepti survived on the lbw and Ecclestone on the run-out.

With 5 needed off the final over, after two dot balls, Ecclestone hit a low full toss outside off stump for a six over Issy’s head and finished it off in style for Warriorz, ending MI’s unbeaten streak in the tournament.

Earlier, UP Warriorz capitalised on a bowling ‘ masterclass by their spinners to bundle out Mumbai Indians for 127.

Spinner Sophie Ecclestone, Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad together claimed seven wickets to dismantle the Mumbai Indians’ batting line-up. While Ecclestone picked three, Deepti and Gayakwad got two wickets apiece.

For Mumbai Indians, Hayley Matthews was the top scorer with 35 off 30 hitting one boundary and three maximums, followed by Issy Wong who played a cameo of 32 off 19 balls.

Asked to bat first, Mumbai Indians didn’t have the best powerplay like that of the other matches and scored 31 for the loss of one wicket.

Warriorz’s bowlers came out all guns blazing as they didn’t let the MI batters stay long on the crease as wickets kept falling at regular intervals.

After getting a lifeline in the fourth over, Yastika fell for 7 as he scoop it over fine but instead missed the ball, which ended up flattening the leg stump.

Sophie Ecclestone got Nat Sciver-Brunt’s leg before in the eighth over for cheap. Halfway through, Harmanpreet Kaur-led side was 56/2 after 10 overs.

Ecclestone broke MI’s backbone in the 11th over, sending the dangerous-looking Mathews back for 35. MI suffered another blow in the 13th over as Rajeshwari Gayakwad trapped Amelia Kerr cheaply for 3.

The next over, skipper Harmanpreet became Deepti’s victim as she danced down the track for a big heave-ho over the leg side, targeting the longer part towards deep mid-wicket, but didn’t get enough elevation and Simran Shaikh took an easy catch near the fence.

Ecclestone removed Amanjot Kaur for 5 in the 16th over, before Gayakwad picked up her second on the last ball of her spell in the form of Humairaa Kaazi (4).

In the penultimate over, Dhara Gujjar (3) fell to the bowling of Deepti, who went round the wicket and fired a quicker delivery. Gujjar was looking for some quick runs and played a slog sweep but missed and the stumps got uprooted.

Issy Wong dug deep to add some crucial runs on the board, she hammered it in front of square on the leg side for a four before getting run out by Deepti’s direct hit at the striker’s end.

Deepti was at her best as she inflicted another run-out on the final delivery of the inning, sending Saika Ishaque back to the hut for a duck.

Brief scores:

Mumbai Indians 127 all out in 20 overs (Hayley Matthews 35, Issy Wong 32; Sophie Ecclestone 3-15, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2-16) lost to UP Warriorz 129/5 in 19.3 overs (Tahlia McGrath 38, Garce Harris 39; Amelia Kerr 2-22) by 5 wickets.

-IANS

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