Fiery bowling spells by Sophie Ecclestone, Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad and a partnership between Tahlia McGrath and Grace Harris powered UP Warriorz to a five-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in their Women's Premier League (WPL) match on Saturday, handing the latter their first-ever loss in the competition.
MI is at the top of the points table despite the loss, having won five of their six matches and having collected 10 points. UP Warriorz are at the third position in the points table, with three wins and an equal number of losses in six matches. They have a total of six points.
In the chase of 128, UP Warriorz was off to a bad start as they lost their opener Devika Vaidya for just one run off seven balls to Hayley Matthews after Harmanpreet Kaur took a brilliant catch at slips. UPW was 1/1 at that point.
Skipper Alyssa Healy was joined by Kiran Navgire and the duo took the chase forward. Healy was trapped leg-before-wicket by Issy Wong for just eight runs in 10 balls, reducing UPW to 21/2 in 5.1 overs.
At the end of the powerplay, UPW was at 27/2, with the world's number one T20I batter Tahlia McGrath (5*) joining Kiran Navgire (12*) at the crease.
UPW crossed the 50-run mark in 8.4 overs thanks to a sixer from Tahlia.
At the end of 10 overs, UPW was at 52/3, with Tahlia McGrath (21*) and Grace Harris (9*) unbeaten at the crease.
The Australian duo continued to bring back UPW back into the match, with Tahlia smashing Saika Ishaque, Purple Cap holder for most wickets, for three fours in the 11th over. Tahlia looked to give the same treatment to all-rounder Amelia Kerr, but she was caught and bowled for 38 off 25 balls consisting of six fours and a six. UPW was at 71/4 in 11.5 overs. The 44-run partnership between Harris-Tahlia was over.
At the end of 15 overs, UPW was at 97/4, with Grace (31*) joined by all-rounder Deepti Sharma (5*).
Grace hit Amelia for two straight fours in the 16th over, helping the side cross the 100-run mark in 15.2 overs. But Amelia had the last laugh as Wong caught Grace at the boundary to send her back for 39 off 28 balls, consisting of seven fours. Half of UPW's batting line-up was inside the hut for 105/5 in 15.4 overs.
Sophie joined Deepti at the crease to take the chase forward and they brought down the equation to five runs in the final over. Sophie hit the winning six on the third ball of the over to hand MI their first-ever defeat in WPL.
Kerr was the pick of the bowlers for MI, taking 2/22 in her four overs. Nat Sciver, Hayley and Wong took a wicket each.
A fantastic show from UP Warriorz spinners, led by the world's number one T20I bowler Sophie Ecclestone helped them bundle out Mumbai Indians for just 127 runs in their 20 overs of the Women's Premier League (WPL) match at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Saturday.
After being put to bat first by UP Warriorz, MI was off to a solid start. Opener Hayley Matthews continued her red-hot form in the tournament, smashing Grace Harris for two straight sixes in the fourth over. Yastika Bhatia was anchoring from the other end.
UPW got their first breakthrough when Anjali Sarvani dismissed Yastika for seven off 15 balls. The batter was trying to scoop but lost her leg stump. MI is 30/1 in 4.5 overs.
At the end of the powerplay, MI was at 31/1, with Hayley Matthews (22*) joined by Nat Sciver-Brunt (0*) at the crease.
Sophie Ecclestone's introduction to the attack proved a game-changer as she dismissed her compatriot Nat Sciver for five runs off eight balls, leaving MI at 39/2 in 7.3 overs.
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was next up on the crease. She and Matthews tried to rebuild the innings after two early hiccups.
At the end of 10 overs, MI was at 56/2, with Hayley (35*) unbeaten on the crease with Harmanpreet Kaur (7*).
MI batters were struggling to obtain the acceleration needed and the pressure built on them finally produced another wicket for UPW. Yet again it was Ecclestone's spin that did the wonders. Matthews was back in the pavilion for 35 runs off 30 balls, consisting of one four and three sixes. MI was 57/3 at that point.
From this point, there was no looking back for UP Warriorz. The spin trio of Ecclestone, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Deepti Sharma chocked MI's run flow. The big hits that were a common feature of an MI fixture till then had disappeared.
Gayakwad picked up all-rounder Amelia Kerr (3). All-rounder Deepti Sharma dismissed skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (25) after Simran Shaikh caught her at deep midwicket. Half of the MI line-up was inside the pavilion at 78/5 in 13.2 overs.
MI's downward spiral continued as Ecclestone dismissed Amanjot Kaur (8) and Gayakwad castled Humaira Kazi (4) to get her second wicket.
MI was reduced to 103/7 in 17 overs.
Deepti Sharma also got her second wicket after she castled Dharra Gujjar while she was attempting a slog sweep. MI sunk to 111/8 in 17.5 overs.
Issy Wong tried to end the MI innings on a high, hitting a four and a six. But she was run out for 32 runs off 19 balls, consisting of four boundaries and a six. Saika also met the same fate as she was run out for a duck by Deepti.
MI ended their innings at 127 in their full 20 overs.
Ecclestone was the pick of the bowlers for UPW, taking 3/15 in her four overs. Deepti took 2/35 in her four overs while Gayakwad took 2/16 in her four overs as well. Anjali Sarvani also got a wicket.
Brief Scores: MI: 127 (Hayley Matthews 35, Issy Wong 32, Sophie Ecclestone 3/15) vs UPW. (ANI)