Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur led from the front by scoring a sparkling 65 as Mumbai Indians Women thumped the Gujarat Giants by 143 runs in the first ever Women’s IPL game at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Saturday evening.
The result was eerily similar to that of the first ever men’s IPL game back in 2008, which saw KKR (222/3) beat RCB (82 all out) by 140 runs. MIW’s run rate as a result of this opening win over GGW is now a massive 7.150
Beth Mooney, donning the new orange GGT WPL jersey, won the toss and opted to put Mumbai in. MIW lost Yastika Bhatia (1) early as she sliced a Tanuja Kanwar delivery to Georgia Wareham at point, putting the troika into WPL history.
However Mumbai had a strong overseas contingent from the WPL auction (acquired relatively cheaply as well), and they showed their worth as GG were taken to the cleaners on a good batting wicket.
The pair of Hayley Matthews and Nat Sciver added 54 runs for the second wicket before the latter was was caught at mid-off by Sneh Rana off Wareham for 23.
The dangerous Matthews made 47 (31) before she was bowled by Ash Gardner, but the duo had already put the hosts in a strong position.
Kaur along with Amelia Kerr added 89 runs for the fourth wicket, as she carried on from where she had left in the T20 World Cup semifinal.
The Indian skipper smashed Gardner for three successive fours to bring up a well deserved fifty- the first ever in WPL history. Her fantastic 65 run innings finally came to an end she sliced a Rana ball to Dayalan Hemalatha at short third man. The innings came off just 30 balls and had a whopping 14 fours.
Kerr smashed a breezy unbeaten 24-ball-45, Pooja Vastrakar scored a eight-ball-15 and Issy Wong hit a last ball six as Mumbai Indians finished with a massive score of 207/5 in their allotted 20 overs.
Chasing 208, Gujarat suffered a huge blow as skipper Mooney walked out off the field in the very first over after suffering an injury.
Sciver then rocked the visitors by having Harleen Deol caught at deep third for a duck.
Things went from bad to worse for GGT as Gardner fell for a golden duck, edging a delivery to Hayley Matthews at first slip off the bowling of Issy Wong.
Saika Ishaque then knocked over Annabel Sutherland (6) and Wareham (8) as Gujarat lost half their side for 22 runs.
Kiwi all-rounder Kerr chipped in with the wickets of Rana (1) and Kanwar (0) as GGT slumped to 23/7.
Hemalatha’s unbeaten 29 however helped Gujarat cross the 50 mark, and Ishaque finished with four wickets as they were eventually bowled out of 64 (64/19 in 15.1 with Mooney unavailable to bat). No.11 Monica Patel and she were the only players to cross 10 in the GG innings.
The next game in the tournament as per the WPL 2023 schedule is a double header (RCB vs DC and UPW vs GGT)