Mumbai, Mar 26 (IANS): An unbeaten 52 runs partnership for the last wicket between Shikha Pandey (27 not out) and Radha Yadav (27 not out) helped Delhi Capitals recover from precarious 79/9 to post a decent 131/9 in 20 overs against Mumbai Indians in the final of the Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023, here on Sunday.
Pandey and Yadav came together just when Delhi were struggling to cross the hundred-100 mark in the summit clash played in front of a partisan full-house at the Brabourne Stadium, and helped their team reach a target they could attempt to defend.
The Delhi Capitals batters looked in a hurry, hoping to put up a big score and did not give themselves time to settle down. Their top-order batters gifted their wickets, as three of them got out to full-tosses while skipper Meg Lanning (35) was run out after a horrendous mix-up with Jess Jonassen.
Issey Wong (3-42), Hayley Matthew (3-5) and Amelia Kerr (2-19) shared the spoils as Mumbai Indians set themselves up for a modest chase.
They could have had to chase fewer runs but for some late order hitting by Shikha and Radha, who hammered Wong for 20 runs in the 19th over with Pandey slamming a six-- a brilliant shot from outside off, and two fours while Yadav helping herself to a four.
Radha Yadav blasted two sixes off the last two deliveries bowled by Nat Sciver-Brunt as she remained undefeated on 27 (12 balls, 2x4, 2x6) while Shikha Pandey was not out on 27 off 17 balls with three boundaries and one six.
After a quiet opening over by Nat Sciver-Brunt that cost two runs, Delhi Capitals, who elected to bat first, exploded into action with Shafali Verma hitting a six and four from successive deliveries by Issy Wong, who claimed a hat-trick in the Eliminator against Up Warriorz, in the second over.
But Wong had the last laugh as she got the India opener to fend off a highball that the batters contested should be called a no-ball. The umpires consulted the TV umpire and Verma was declared out, caught by Amelia Kerr, who easily pouched a dolly that ballooned straight up. Verma scored 11 runs from four deliveries.
Alice Capsey (0) lasted only two balls, hitting a full toss to Amanjot Kaur at cover, another decision that went to the TV umpire and ruled in favour of the fielding team. But this was a little less high than the delivery that got Shafali Verma. Two wickets in three deliveries saw DC slumping to 12/2.
Captain Meg Lanning struck two successive fours off Nat Sciver-Brunt -- a cut-past point followed by a heave over mid-on.
But Delhi Capitals' troubles continued as Jemimah Rodrigues (9), who struck two boundaries during her eight-ball stay at the crease, departed in the fifth over, trying to open the bat and drive a full-toss from Wong that swung in a bit and went straight to Hayley Matthews at the square. Wong got three wickets off three full-toss deliveries that otherwise should have been deposited beyond the boundary rope.
The lucky breaks meant DC slumped to 35/3 with Wong's figures reading 3-0-22-0. It appeared that the Delhi batters were instructed to go after bowling from the start to bat Mumbai out of the match.
Lanning and Marizanne Kapp (18 off 21 balls) added 38 runs in 35 balls for the fourth wicket partnership. Kapp struck a four off Saika Ishaque -- a superb pull between long-on and wide long-on, and did the same against Amelia Kerr but was out off the next ball in the 11th over, edging behind to one tossed up outside off.
And when captain Lanning was run out in the next over after a bit of yes-no, yes-no with Jess Jonassen, who had patted a loose ball to cover where Amanjot sent an accurate throw to keeper Yastika Bhatia. Lanning scored 35 off 29 deliveries, hitting five fours.
Delhi Capitals were down to 74/5 in the 12th over and from there they could not recover as Jess Jonassen (2), Arundhati Reddy (0), Minnu Mani (2) and Taniya Bhatia (0) departed in quick succession as Hayley Matthew claimed three of them for figures of 4-2-5-3 while Kerr got Reddy in her 2-19 from four overs.
Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 131/9 in 20 overs (Meg Lanning 35, Shikha Pandey 27 not out, Radha Yadav 27 not out; Hayley Matthews 3-5, Issy Wong 3-42, Amelia Kerr 2-19) vs Mumbai Indians.