Small role for Matthews as captain Kaur pilots MI Women to seven-wicket win over Gujarat Giants

By Sports Desk March 09, 2024
Matthews struck four boundaries after a sedate start. Matthews struck four boundaries after a sedate start.

West Indies Women’s captain Hayley Matthews contributed a wicket and 18 runs as Mumbai Indians Women registered win number five of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) campaign with a seven-wicket beating of Gujarat Giants Women at the AJ Stadium, on Saturday.

Matthews, who opened the bowling for MI Women, ended with one for 22 from three overs, which assisted in limiting the Giants to 190 for seven from their 20 overs, after they opted to take first strike.

After a sedate start, the 25-year-old Barbadian all-rounder then stroke four boundaries in her 21-ball 18, as she posted an even 50-run opening stand with Yastikia Bhatia, which laid the platform for the successful chase that was anchored by captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who was left unbeaten on 95.

Bhatia made 49 off 36 balls, including eight fours and a solitary six, while Kaur’s breathtaking 48-ball knock included 10 fours and five sixes.

Scores: Gujarat Giants Women 190-7 (20 overs); MI Women 191-3 (19.5 overs)

Despite the slow start, Matthews maintained her composure and eventually found some rhythm with a series of boundaries, before she went caught off Tanuja Kanwar in the next over.

Things got worse for MI Women when they lost England international Nat Sciver-Brunt (two) in the eighth over with the score at 57-2. However, Bhatia and Kaur steadied the innings with a 41-run third wicket stand, before the former offered a return catch to Ashleigh Gardner in the 14th over.

Still, Kaur continued to flow and dominated an unbroken 93-run stand with New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr, whose contribution to the partnership was a mere 12 not out.

With MI Women requiring 13 from the final over, bowled by Gardner, Kaur smashed a six and a four off the first two balls, before scrambling singles with Kerr off the next three deliveries to complete the win with one ball to spare.

Earlier, Gujarat Giants through a 121-run second-wicket stand between Dayalan Hemalatha (74) and her captain Beth Mooney (66), threatened to put the game beyond MI Women’s reach.

Hemalatha hit nine fours and two sixes in her top score which came off 40 balls, while Mooney’s 35-ball knock included eight fours and three sixes.

But their contributions were in vain, as Bharti Fulmali (21) was the next best scorer with the remaining players offering little or no resistance to the MI Women’s bowlers.

With the win, Mumbai India Women remain atop the standing on 10 points, with Delhi Capital Women (8 points), their closest pursuer.

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