West Indies captain Hayley Matthews had only a small role to play, as her Mumbai Indians team registered a comfortable seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore to assume pole position of the Women’s Premier League at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, on Saturday.

Matthews, who made 55 in a losing cause on last, got a fairly decent start, and though she failed to push on, it mattered little, as Mumbai Indians made light work of the modest target set by Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Chasing 132, Mumbai Indians got to their target with 29 balls to spare, with Matthews contributing a brisk 21-ball 26.

She struck three fours and a solitary six in a 45-run opening stand with Yastika Bhatia, which laid the foundation for the run chase. Bhatia lashed a 15-ball 31. 

Matthews added a further 24 runs for the second wicket with captain Nat Sciver-Brunt (27), before holing out to cover off-spinner Shreyanka Patil.

From there, it was left for New Zealander Amelia Kerr to apply the finish with a snappy 40 off 24 balls, including seven fours, that fuelled an important 49-run third wicket partnership with Sciver-Brunt.

Earlier, RCB stumbled their way to 131 for six off their 20 overs after being sent in, Australian Ellyse Perry holding the innings together with an unbeaten 44 off 38 balls.

With the innings in trouble at 42 for four in the ninth over, Perry put on 29 for the fifth wicket with fellow countrywoman Sophie Molineux (12), before adding a further 51 for the seventh wicket with another international teammate Georgia Wareham, who made 27 from 20 deliveries.

The win was Mumbai’s third in four games, putting them top of the standings on six points.

England all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt is in contention to retain her title as women’s ODI player of the year after being named on a shortlist of four in the International Cricket Council’s awards.

Sciver-Brunt played just six times in the format in 2023 but still made a splash, hitting three centuries including two against Australia in last summer’s drawn Ashes contest.

In all she hit 393 runs at a stellar average of 131, also chipping in with three wickets and two catches. She won the trophy in 2022, making it a double by being named the overall women’s cricketer of the year.

The 31-year-old goes up against Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner, Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu and New Zealander Amelia Kerr.

Sciver-Brunt is not the only member of the England Women’s team to be nominated by the ICC, with spinner Sophie Ecclestone shortlisted for T20 player of the year and seamer Lauren Bell up for emerging player.

No English men have been nominated for a white-ball award after a disappointing 12 months for a side which started 2023 as world champions in both limited-overs formats.

There are no Australians in the men’s ODI shortlist, despite Pat Cummins’ side becoming 50-over world champions in November.

Instead there are three representatives from runners-up India – Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill and Mohammed Shami rewarded for consistent performances alongside Daryl Mitchell of New Zealand.

Harmanpreet Kaur and Hayley Matthews led the way with the bat as the Mumbai Indians hammered the Gujarat Giants by 143 runs at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai to kick off the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League on Saturday.

Mumbai made an imposing 207-5 from their 20 overs after being put in to bat by the Giants.

Kaur, captain of the Mumbai Indians as well as India, led the way with a classy 65 off just 30 balls including 14 fours while Matthews, the West Indies skipper, hit four sixes and three fours on her way to a 31-ball 47 at the top of the innings.

New Zealander Amelia Kerr also hit a 24-ball 45 not out including six fours and a six. The Gujarat bowling was led by the off-spin of Sneh Rana who took 2-43 from her four overs.

Needing 208 for victory, the Giants’ task was made even harder when captain Beth Mooney was forced to retire hurt after facing just three balls and not scoring a run.

In the end, only Dayalan Hemalatha (29*) and Monica Patel (10) reached double figures as they were restricted to 64-9 off 15.1 overs.

Saika Ishaque led the way with the ball for Mumbai with 4-11 from her 3.1 overs while Nat Sciver-Brunt and Amelia Kerr took two wickets apiece.

Scores: Mumbai Indians 207-5 off 20 overs (Harmanpreet Kaur 65, Hayley Matthews 47, Amelia Kerr 45*, Sneh Rana 2-43) Gujarat Giants 64-9 off 15.1 overs (Dayalan Hemalatha 29*, Saika Ishaque 4-11, Nat Sciver-Brunt 2-5, Amelia Kerr 2-12).

West Indies Women and New Zealand head into Sunday’s T20 International locked on 1-1 after the visitors pulled off a thriller to win the second T20 International by six wickets, with one ball remaining, at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Saturday.

Batting first, the West Indies had a difficult time scoring going as New Zealand bowlers were much more consistent in their line and length.

Skipper Hayley Matthews struck one boundary on her way to eight off 13 balls before she had a big nick behind to keeper Izzy Gaze of Hayley Jensen. Also, Aaliyah Alleyne, who punished the White Ferns bowlers in the first match, struggled to get going.

Eden Carson who replaced Lea Tahuhu in the White Ferns team, had Alleyne caught for 13 which came off 19 balls.

Kyshona Knight and Chinelle Henry struck up a 31-run partnership when the home side needed it the most. Knight fell eight runs short of a half-century, making 42, which included five fours.

Henry, meanwhile, made 24 off 22 balls with two fours and a six and included 18 runs from the last over which helped West Indies Women to 107-5.

Jensen was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand, finishing with figures of 4-0-24-3, followed by Eden Carson with 4-0-12-2.

In reply, Suzie Bates smacked six fours on her way to 54 off 61 balls and was well supported by Amelia Kerr with 21 from 25 balls. The visitors looked set for victory before two wickets from Cherry-Ann Fraser in the 18th over, swung the match back in favour of the West Indies.

However, the 19th over went for 10 runs which meant New Zealand needed seven runs in the last over, which they achieved with one ball to spare.

Fraser had the best bowling figures, finishing with 2.5-0-13-1. Off-spinner Karishma Ramharack 4-0-23-1.

“I got a promotion to bat at (number) three, so my role was to bat as deep as possible,” Knight explained afterwards.

“My plan was to back myself and to rotate the strike for the hitters and help get the team to a decent total. It was extremely hot there today, probably one of the hottest we’ve experienced so far, and the ball was holding on the pitch more than usual, so that made batting a bit tricky. We’re looking forward to regrouping and coming back for the third match.”

The two teams will return to the same venue on Sunday for the third T20I in the five-match series. The first ball is at 1:30 pm Eastern Caribbean/12:30 pm Jamaica time.

 

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