Recent Match Report – IM Women vs UPW Women 15th Match 2022/23

UP Warriorz 129 for 5 (Harris 39, McGrath 38) beat Bombay Indians 127 (Matthew 35, Ecclestone 3-15) by five wickets

On a hot Saturday afternoon at the DY Patil Stadium, clad in blue and nearly three-quarters full, the Mumbai Indians finally suffered their first defeat in the Women’s Premier League after five straight wins. They are already in the playoffs and are favorites to finish first in the league and go directly to the final, but the other contenders now know that Harmanpreet Kaur’s team can be beaten.

The crucial two points in the playoff race weren’t easy for the UP Warriorz, even though left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone’s extraordinary 3-for-15 spell helped to dismiss Mumbai for just 127 on a slow pitch she offered. turn, his lowest batting score. first. They also needed Ecclestone’s batting skills, as she bowled Issy Wong over straight boundary to seal a tough chase with three balls to spare.

Ecclestone beats Ishaque

At one point during Ecclestone’s spell, the announcers showed a split screen comparing his charge and action to Mumbai’s left arm Saika Ishaque. While Ecclestone is considerably taller than Ishaque, it was his bowling speed that day that made the difference.

The pitch, baked in the scorching sun, was helping the slow, spinning bowling. Ecclestone, all 23, is a veteran at pulling assists when conditions help even remotely spin. The first wicket from him was his England teammate Nat Sciver-Brunt, who returned to a straight ball and played across the line and was caught lbw.

Hayley Matthews is used to playing on slow surfaces at home in the West Indies and seemed comfortable on this pitch. She scored 35 of 29 balls before Ecclestone grabbed one, and Matthews finished her shot across the line and it was caught from behind her by Alyssa Healy. She picked up the third wicket of hers with a delivery that dipped under Amanjot Kaur’s bat to stun her. Ecclestone conceded just one cap in four overs, when Kiran Navgire brought down Wong running from long range.

Mumbai’s Ishaque, who Ecclestone tied with for the top of the WPL wicket charts with 12 hairs, had an unsuccessful game in contrast. He went wicketless for the second match in a row, and his lack of success against UP was due to him bowling the ball rather quickly. Two of his fastest deliveries, at 89 and 90 kph, were bested by Tahlia McGrath in four limits during a crucial phase of the chase.

Mumbai’s batting depth is finally put to the test

Only once had Mumbai lost more than five wickets in their first five games. Their middle and upper-order hitters – Matthews, Harmanpreet and Amelia Kerr – had contributed so regularly that their strength after No. 6 had rarely been tested.

In their previous game against Gujarat Giants, Mumbai was almost in trouble when Wong was out for a first ball duck, but Harmanpreet made sure to cross 150. Harmanpreet was also key against UP as Mumbai lost Yastika Bhatia, Sciver-Brunt and Kerr for little money. . After a steady start, he looked to accelerate against the spin, clearing his front foot to push the leg-spinning Parshavi Chopra through the midwicket and pounding and cutting bounds behind the point of Chopra and Rajeshwari Gayakwad. But his aggressive approach was unsuccessful against Deepti Sharma’s spin-off and Mumbai’s lower order was exposed in the 14th.

They lost their last five wickets in 40 balls for just 49 runs, with most of those runs scored by Wong, who smashed 32 in just 19 deliveries. Amanjot Kaur, Dhara Gujjar and Humaira Kazi bat in the top and middle order of their state teams, while all-rounder Jintimani Kalita is just 19 years old. The order’s inexperience and lack of power hurt Mumbai.

Counterattack by McGrath and Harris

Warriorz fell to 27 for 3 in 6.1 overs, and Mumbai suddenly looked good to defend their score of 127. Faced with doing some repair work without letting the interest rate rise too much, two Australians McGrath and Grace Harris joined forces with the match in balance. They were the only Warriorz batsmen to score from more than one run per ball, and their standing of 44 runs in 5.4 overs brought their team back into the chase.

McGrath dropped the first ball when wicketkeeper Bhatia failed to hold off a regulation catch from Wong, thereafter both batsmen feasted on the pace of Sciver-Brunt, Wong and Amanjot. Spin was clearly the order of the day: Warriorz used just two seam overs, and Mumbai’s tactics of backing their closers backfired, with Wong passing to more than nine per over, while Amanjot only cost 11 overs.

McGrath and Harris were eventually dismissed for Kerr’s leg spin, and the Warriorz needed Deepti and Ecclestone to lead them to victory in the final.

S Sudarshanan is deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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