Recent Match Report – MI Women vs UPW Women 6th Match 2023/24

UP Warriorz 163 for 3 (Navgire 57, Harris 38*, Wong 2-30) beat Mumbai Indians 161 for 6 (Matthews 55) by seven wickets

A blistering half-century from Kiran Navgire and superb finishing by Grace Harris led UP Warriorz to their first victory of this WPL campaign – and it was a big one over an under-strength Mumbai Indians with 21 balls to spare.

Moving up the order from No. 6 after Vrinda Dinesh injured her shoulder in a fielding mishap, Navgire smashed 57 off 31 balls and shared a 94-run opening stand with Alyssa Healy to set the Warriorz run chase off on what turned out to be an unassailable footing. Even when they lost three wickets for four runs in the space of ten balls, including two to Issy Wong in her first appearance of this year’s tournament, Warriorz could turn to Harris and Deepti Sharma, who shared an unbroken fourth-wicket stand worth 65 to overhaul their target of 162, built on Hayley Matthews’ fifty.

Warriorz opted to bowl first against a Mumbai side missing captain Harmanpreet Kaur to quadriceps soreness and pace bowler Shabnim Ismail to a “niggle” in Bengaluru. They overcame a sloppy fielding display to turn the tables in a replay of last year’s Eliminator, inflicting Mumbai’s first defeat of 2024.

Navgire nails the chase

Healy started strongly, taking advantage of Pooja Vastrakar’s misfield at deep backward square leg for the first of back-to-back fours off Nat Sciver-Brunt in the opening over of the pursuit, the second heaved with authority over mid-on. From there though, it became the Navgire show as she raced to 26 off just 14 balls with six fours. Healy brought up the fifty partnership with four over cover off Sciver-Brunt and, after a straight six from Navgire off Saika Ishaque, Warriorz were 61 without loss at the end of the powerplay, well ahead of Mumbai at the corresponding point in their innings and the highest powerplay score of the season so far.

Navgire could have been out for an already damaging 42 when she lofted Matthews down the ground, the ball bursting through the hands of Wong running round full-pelt from long-off, and sailing over the rope for six. She brought up her half-century off just 25 balls with another six immediately, over deep midwicket. But her stand with Healy was finally broken when Navgire was sucked in by an Amelia Kerr delivery on a length outside off which gripped and passed a rashly swung bat, Yastika Bhatia whipping off the bails. Still, Navgire’s innings was jaw-dropping and put her side in the perfect position to seal the victory. Harris stepped up with an excellent 37 not out from 17 balls, striking at 222.52. She was well supported by Deepti’s unbeaten 27 off 20.

Matthews shows her class

Matthews rocked back and muscled Harris’s eighth delivery of the match over extra cover and, as the ball rolled to the boundary rope, the ball got rolling for Mumbai Indians. After Warriorz conceded just eight runs off the first three overs, they were all of a sudden under pressure as Bhatia joined in, smashing Anjali Sarvani – in the side for spinner Gouher Sultana – for three fours and a powerful six down the ground.

Matthews, who already had to overturn a caught-behind dismissal off Harris on 6 when replays showed the ball was nowhere near the bat, should have been out for 23 when Poonam Khemnar put down a catch running in and diving from deep extra cover, also off Harris. It was a ragged fielding display by Warriorz, who missed numerous chances and cost themselves runs with overthrows and poor backing-up. Bhatia was looking dangerous when Harris had her caught at short midwicket moments later, ending a half-century opening stand.

Matthews showed her quality, however, after two disappointing innings of 0 and 7. She was willing to sacrifice her wicket on 47 in a horrible mix-up with Sciver-Brunt, carrying on to the danger end after prodding a Sophie Ecclestone delivery to the off side and hesitating mid-run. But when the ball came back to Ecclestone, she decided to throw to wicketkeeper Healy and run out her England team-mate, meaning Matthews was safe and Sciver-Brunt was gone for a 14-ball 19. She raised her fifty off 44 balls and Vrinda hurt her right shoulder during a valiant high-speed dive in vain to save another Matthews boundary. Matthews fell for 55 a short time later, thanks to an excellent catch in the deep by Harris off Rajeshwari Gayakwad.

Wong returns

With four overs remaining, Kerr flicked into action, thrashing Gayakwad over the fence at deep midwicket and through backward square leg for four more. She reached 23 off 16 before Deepti pinned her on the boot as she looked to sweep a full ball fine. That brought in Wong, who enjoyed an excellent WPL season in 2023 but also lost her place in the England side amid issues with her run-up. In the Mumbai side for fellow quick Ismail, she got straight to work with the bat, smashing Deepti over mid-off for six on the first ball she faced. She ended unbeaten with 15 off six deliveries.

With England Women’s and Warriorz coach Jon Lewis looking on, Wong was greeted by four fours in five balls from a rampaging Navgire, through the fielder at midwicket, over mid-off, back over Wong’s head and beyond midwicket, a wide making it 17 runs off her first over. Wong returned to the attack in the 11th over and she made things happen. She removed Tahlia McGrath cheaply via the DRS when ball-tracking showed she was pinned on the back pad in line with the top of leg stump. Two balls later, she had Healy caught at short third by Ishaque with a full ball outside off. Wong ended as Mumbai’s leading bowler with 2 for 30 from three overs.

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor, women’s cricket, at ESPNcricinfo

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