The Mumbai skipper marked the new league’s first half-century as her 30-ball, 65 blitzkrieg propelled her side to a whopping 207-for-5 after being sent to bat first by her counterpart, the Gujarat captain Beth Mooney.
As it happened: Gujarat Giants vs Mumbai Indians
Mumbai bowlers then ended Gujarat’s innings in the 16th, knocking them out for just 64 in 15.1 overs to register a huge win. Saika Ishaque (4 for 11) was the chief troubleshooter for the Mumbai side, with Nat Sciver-Brunt (2/5) and Amelia Kerr (2/12) taking two wickets apiece.
Harmanpreet broke 14 fours and scored his runs at an impressive 216.67 strike rate. Hayley Matthews (47) and Amelia Kerr (45 not released) have also been big contributors to the Mumbai franchise.
The @mipaltans led by @ImHarmanpreet miss the mark in the #TATAWPL in style! #MI wins opener against #GG… https://t.co/eCtwHjUymW
– Women’s Premier League (WPL) (@wplt20) 1677951962000
Gujarat’s run chase started on the worst possible note as Mooney retired injured in the first on himself. Two balls later, No. 3 hitter Harleen Deol was dismissed for nothing by Nat Sciver-Brunt. Thus, Gujarat practically lost two wickets in the first leg of their pursuit.
Gujarat were quickly reduced to 5 for 3 in 2.3 overs after losing two more wickets in the next two overs, and they turned to 23/7 in eight overs fairly quickly.
Dayalan Hemalatha (29 not out) delayed the inevitable by adding 26 runs for the eighth wicket with Mansi Joshi (6) and 15 runs for the ninth wicket with Monica Patel (10). But they were already down by then.
For her incredible captain’s shot of 65(30), skipper @ImHarmanpreet won the player of the match award 👏👏 #GGvMI… https://t.co/Gd8ybJpjef
– Women’s Premier League (WPL) (@wplt20) 1677952903000
India and Mumbai captain Kaur added 89 points from just 42 balls with New Zealander Kerr (45* on 24 balls, 6×4, 1×6) after Matthews provided the initial fireworks .
Kaur’s sleeves were straight out of the textbooks for every national player watching in his team, the competition and beyond. She found gaps at will, connected the ball perfectly and didn’t give opposing bowlers a single chance to capitalize.
But before Kaur’s onslaught, it was West Indies aggressive hitter Matthews who looked set to score the first fifty of the tournament, but sadly only missed three runs.
Matthews smoked 4 sixes and 3 fours to go 47 from 31 and added 54 runs for second wicket with Nat Sciver-Brunt, a pairing that laid the foundation for a strong first-inning total for the winning side.
England star Sciver-Brunt was in her element on Saturday night as after smoking 5 fours for her 18 ball 23 she fired a 2-0-5-2 opening spell that helped derail the Gujarat Giants off the track.
It was certainly a forgettable first outing for the Gujarat Giants who had little to cheer about. After their bowlers were hammered all over the park for a grand total of 31 fours and 6 sixes by the Mumbai Indians, the wheels came completely loose for them.
With the hammering received in the first half of the game, things got worse for the Gujarat Giants as soon as their chase started.
In the first round, captain of the Gujarat Giants and arguably the team’s best hitter, Mooney retired injured after facing only her third pitch. It is believed she injured her left knee after taking a few steps for a run but decided against it.
On the final delivery, Nat Sciver-Brunt drew first blood, which allowed Harleen Deol to be caught at third man deep for a two-ball duck.
Star-studded opening ceremony kicks off inaugural WPL
The England player came back in the third to hurt the Gujarat Giants further, this time clearing opener Sabbhineni Meghana for a 4-ball 2.
But before losing Meghana, the Gujarat Giants had suffered a blow in the form of Ashleigh Gardner, with Hayley Matthews taking a clean catch on right-arm pacer Issy Wong’s first slip to return for a golden duck.
Saika Ishaque retired Annabel Sutherland (6) in the fifth inning and came back in the seventh to clean up Georgia Wareham (8), making the most of the pressure created by impressive right arm Wong on the other end. , who left no place in the score during his first pass (3-0-7-1).
Orthodox left arm spinner Saika came back with 3.1-1-11-4.
The pair of Dayalan Hemlatha (29 not out) and Mansi Joshi (6) did their best to delay the inevitable, but the Mumbai Indians completed the victory with 29 balls to spare.
Earlier in the game, Gujarat Giants skipper Mooney decided to take on wicket-keeping duties – something she hasn’t done regularly in her career – and invited Mumbai Indians to beat after have won the draw.
Mooney’s team made a lot of mistakes on the field, with the bowlers most often straying to the side of the leg in the first half and playing poorly, which kind of underlined the lack of time and skill. opportunities that WPL teams have in mind. – until the tournament.
But before all that, WPL began with the familiar razzmatazz of a scintillating opening ceremony featuring Bollywood actresses Kiara Advani and Kirti Sanon, who performed alongside AP singer Dhillon and the evening sky was illuminated by spectacular fireworks.
(With PTI entries)