WPL 2023: Mumbai Indians beat UP Warriorz by eight wickets to keep record unblemished; DRS howler steals show

At the 12-over mark in the first innings, UP Warriorz’ skipper Alyssa Healy and Tahlia McGrath (one past the fifty mark and one nearing it), looked like they were going to set the stage for the unthinkable – a rare off day for the Mumbai Indians!

Highlights: Mumbai Indians beat UP Warriorz by eight wickets, as it happened

With three wins in the three games, Mumbai has been comfortably cruising through the tournament so far but managing a fourth win on the trot did not seem as straightforward at the Brabourne Stadium here on Sunday.

A clinical clean-up act by the bowlers in the final five overs and a drama-laden chase later, Mumbai finished with its unbeaten record intact thanks to an eight-wicket win over Warriorz to consolidate its top spot in the standings.

Saika’s tests and triumphs

Healy and eventually McGrath gave Saika Ishaque her sternest test in the tournament, negotiating her variations and even striking her to the boundary. In the second over of her spell, Healy punished her for four shots through the ropes to set the tone for a positive PowerPlay after opting to bat first. Despite the initial hiccups, Saika turned it around remarkably as she removed Healy and McGrath is one over just as their partnership settled in.

Saika Ishaque’s hold on the purple cap tightened with an impressive showing against UP Warriorz in the WPL 2023.

Saika Ishaque’s hold on the purple cap tightened with an impressive showing against UP Warriorz in the WPL 2023.
| Photo Credit: SPORTZPICS for WPL

From then on it was smooth sailing for MI as experienced internationals, Hayley Matthews and Amelia Kerr, wiped out the tail-enders for single digits. 

What looked like a score headed towards the 180-run mark winded up for 159 for the loss of six wickets.

Bizarre DRS controversy

Deafening chants of ‘jeetega bhai jeetega Mumbai jeetega’ reverberated through the stadium as an anomaly unfolded on the ground in the fourth over. Sophie Ecclestone bowled a yorker to Matthews, which UP appealed for lbw. The third umpire ruled in UP’s favour but Matthews stood her ground. The on-ground umpires also seemed unconvinced as the decision was looked at again and reversed, all in the span of a couple of minutes.

Yastika Bhatia, who after a slow start to the tournament has found her rhythm, quickly raced to 36. Just as she began to up the tempo, Rajeshwari Gayakwad dismissed the India international for a well-made 27-ball 42 in the seventh over, just after being thumped for a six over long-on.

Matthews joined her soon after, falling for a 17-ball 12, after attempting to slog-sweep Gayakwad over deep mid-wicket only to find Simran Shaikh.

Harman-Nat see Mumbai through

UP threatened to turn the win predictors and one-sided previews on their heads as its bowlers continued to stem the run-flow. However, a 106-run stand for the third wicket between Nat Sciver-Brunt and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur quickly pulled the ground from under UP’s feet.

The pair, each scoring half centuries, tied the chase up neatly with 15 balls to spare, and kept Mumbai’s unbeaten run in the tournament intact.

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