An all-round show by Alice Capsey and quick knocks from skipper Meg Lanning and Shafali Verma helped Delhi Capitals earn a direct qualification into the final of the Women's Premier League (WPL) after a five-wicket win over UP Warriorz in the final league stage match at Brabourne Stadium on Tuesday.
DC finishes at the top spot with six wins and two losses and 12 points in total. MI has similar statistics, but has been pushed to the second due to an inferior net-run-rate. MI will take on UP Warriorz in the eliminator on March 24 to determine the second finalist.
In the chase of 139 runs, Delhi Capitals continued with their template of aggressive cricket. Openers Shafali Verma and Meg Lanning went after UPW bowlers from the start.
Shabnim Ismail, the veteran medium pacer from South Africa was smashed for three fours and a six by Lanning in the very first over of the inning itself.
Delhi Capitals reached the 50-run mark in just 4.1 overs. This time it was Lanning's aggression driving the chase.
Soppadhandi Yashasri earned UPW their first wicket after she dismissed Shafali for a 16-ball 21, consisting of four boundaries. Sophie Ecclestone took a good catch at long-on to reduce DC to 56/1.
At the end of six overs of the powerplay, DC was at 67/1, with Lanning (37*) and Jemimah Rodrigues (3*) unbeaten.
Shabnim put some restrictions on DC's run flow, dismissing Rodrigues (3) by trapping her lbw and skipper Lanning for 39 off 23 balls, consisting of five fours and two sixes. Simran Shaikh took a brilliant catch at deep midwicket. DC was at 70/3 in 6.5 overs.
Alice Capsey was next up on the crease and announced her arrival by smashing Ecclestone for three fours in the ninth over and Parshavi Chopra for a six in the 10th over.
At the end of 10 overs, DC was at 92/3, with Marizanne Kapp (2*) and Capsey (21*) unbeaten.
At the end of 15 overs, DC was at 117/3, with Capsey (31*) and Kapp (16*) unbeaten at the crease.
Kapp and Capsey reached the 50-run stand in 50 balls.
Ecclestone got better of Alice, who was stumped by Healy for 34 off 31 balls. DC was at 130/4 in 16.2 overs and need nine runs to win.
Jess Jonassen was next up on the crease. DC finished the chase successfully. They finished at 142/5 in 17.5 overs. Kapp hit the winning boundary to send DC into the finals. Kapp finished at 34* off 31 balls, consisting of four boundaries and a six. Arundhati Reddy was unbeaten at zero.
Shabnim was the pick of the bowlers for UPW, taking 2/29 in three overs. Yashasri and Ecclestone took a wicket each.
Earlier, a top bowling spell from all-rounder Alice Capsey helped Delhi Capitals reduce UP Warriorz to 138/6 in their 20 overs of the final league stage game of the Women's Premier League (WPL) at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.
After being put to bowl first by Delhi Capitals, UP Warriorz was off to a solid start. Openers Alyssa Healy and Shweta Sehrawat added 30 runs for the first wicket. Sehrawat looked really good, finding gaps at will to hit four boundaries.
But Sehrawat's 12-ball stay at the crease was ended by Radha Yadav for 19 runs, with Jess Jonassen taking a good catch at point. UPW was 30/1 in 4.1 overs.
Following this, Simran Shaikh joined skipper Healy on the crease. The duo helped UPW navigate through the remainder of the powerplay without any further damage.
At the end of six overs, UPW was at 38/1, with Alyssa Healy (16*) unbeaten with Simran Shaikh (1*).
UPW crossed the 50-run mark in 7.5 overs thanks to a huge six from Alyssa Healy.
At the end of 10 overs, UPW was at 63/2. Alice Capsey dismissed Healy for 36 off 34 balls on the final ball of the 10th over. Taniya Bhatia stumped the batter.
DC bowlers continued to create pressure on UPW batters. Radha got her second wicket, dismissing a struggling Simran for 11 off 23 balls. UPW was 71/3 in 12 overs.
Following these two quick wickets, Tahlia McGrath and Kiran Navgire were the fresh pair on the crease.
They attempted to rebuild innings but their efforts were disrupted as Jonassen picked the wicket of Navgire for 2 runs. Taniya delivered yet another great stumping to reduce UPW to 91/4 in 14.5 overs.
At the end of 15 overs, UPW was at 92/4 with Deepti Sharma (1*) and Tahlia (19*) at the crease. The onus was on them to finish well for their sides.
Capsey got her second wicket, castling Deepti Sharma for just three off eight balls. UPW was 104/5 in 17.1 overs. In the same over, she dismissed Sophie Ecclestone for a duck, reducing UPW to 105/6.
Tahlia continued her fightback, bringing up her fourth WPL fifty in 30 balls.
UPW finished at a modest score of 138/6, with Tahlia (58* off 32 balls, eight fours and two sixes) and Anjali Sarvani (3*) unbeaten.
Capsey was the pick of the bowlers for DC, taking 3/26 in four overs.
Radha Yadav ended with figures of 2/28 and Jonassen also got a wicket.
Brief Scores: UPW: 138/6 (Tahlia McGrath 58*, Alyssa Healy 36, Alice Capsey 3/26) vs DC: 142/5 in 17.5 overs (Meg Lanning 39, Alice Capsey 31, Shabnim Ismail 2/29). (ANI)