WPL 2023: MI demolish RCB by nine wickets to clinch second straight win

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MUMBAI: All-round performance from Hayley Matthews and fifty from Nat-Sciver Brunt helped Mumbai Indians (MI) crush Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by nine wickets in their Women’s Premier League (WPL) match at Brabourne Stadium on Monday.

The win helped MI strengthen its hold at the top of the points table with two wins in two matches, with a total of four points. RCB is at the fourth position and are yet to earn a point. They have lost both of their matches so far.

In chase of 156 runs, MI started really well. Openers Hayley Matthews and Yastika Bhatia put RCB out of the game before the powerplay could even end. Both batters found gaps at will and tormented the bowlers with consistent boundaries.

RCB bowlers, including their pace star Renuka Singh, looked helpless in face of such an onslaught. However, Preeti Bose put an end to the opening stand of 45 runs. She dismissed Yastika for 23 off 19 balls. MI was 45/1 in five overs.

At the end of six overs of powerplay, MI was at 64/1, with Hayley (38*) joined by Nat Sciver Brunt (3*). RCB bowlers were left searching for answers as the arrival of Nat Sciver pushed the run rate even further. Hayley was also hitting fours nonchalantly at the other end.

Hayley brought up her fifty in 26 balls, continuing her fine form in WPL and performing her role as all-rounder to perfection.After 10 overs, MI was 95/1, with Hayley (50*) and Nat (22*) at the crease.MI crossed the 100-run mark in 10.2 overs.

RCB bowlers continued delivering ordinary bowling to MI batters, which the latter gleefully accepted and sent to the boundary ropes or to the stands consistently.

Sciver raced to her fifty in just 28 balls and MI finished their innings at 159/1 in 14.2 overs, with Hayley scoring 77* off 38 balls, consisting of 13 fours and a six. Sciver scored 55* in 29 balls with nine fours and six.

Earlier, top-notch bowling spells from Hayley Matthews, Saika Ishaque and Amelia Kerr helped Mumbai Indians skittle out Royal Challengers Bangalore for just 155 runs in 18.4 overs of their Women’s Premier League (WPL) tie at Brabourne Stadium on Monday.

After electing to bat first, RCB was off to a solid start, with openers Smriti Mandhana and Sophie Devine dealing in boundaries and rotating the strike well. Saika Ishaque continued her red-hot form from her previous match against Gujarat Giants, putting the RCB on the backfoot by dismissing Devine (16) and Disha Kasat (0) in one over. RCB slipped to 39/2 in 4.4 overs.

Harmanpreet used her spinners well, bringing in Hayley Matthews. Hayley repaid her captain’s faith in her abilities by dismissing skipper Mandhana (23) and Heather Knight (0) for a duck. RCB was reduced to 43/4 in 5.3 overs.

At the end of the powerplay in six overs, RCB was 47/4, with Ellyse Perry and wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh unbeaten at 4 each.RCB crossed the 50-run mark in 6.1 overs.

Perry and Ghosh were looking really good and seeming to build a solid partnership for themselves, but an unfortunate run-out cut short Perry’s stay at the crease to just 13 runs. Half of the RCB side was in the hut for 71 runs in 8.1 overs.

At the end of 10 overs, RCB was 81/5 with Ghosh (25*) joined by Kanika Ahuja (2*). RCB crossed the 100-run mark in 12 overs, with help of a four from Kanika.

Kanika was the next player to return to the dugout as she was dismissed by Pooja Vastrakar for 22 off 13 balls. She was caught by wicketkeeper-batter Yastika Bhatia after she skied one straight into the keeper’s hand. RCB was 105/6 in 12.3 overs and a 34-run stand for the sixth wicket was over.

Shreyanka Patil was next up on the crease and she started off with a four. Hayley picked up her third wicket and it was a big one. She dismissed Richa for 28 off 26 balls. RCB was 112/7 in 13.3 overs. Shreyanka gave a boost to RCB’s run rate with some quick runs while also building a partnership with Megan Schutt.

Shreyanka was trapped lbw by Nat Sciver Brunt for a solid 23 off 15 balls. However, the 34-run stand between her and Schutt was undone, with RCB reduced to 146/8 in 17 overs.

RCB crossed the 150-run mark in 17.1 overs. Amelia got her first wicket, trapping Renuka Singh for just two runs. RCB is 154/9 in 18.2 overs. Yastika’s swift stumping ended Schutt’s stay at 20 runs in 14 balls. RCB was bundled out for 155 in 18.4 overs.

Hayley was the pick of the bowlers for MI, with 3/28. Amelia, Saika took two wickets each while Pooja and Nat ended with one wicket.

Brief Scores: RCB: 155 in 18.4 overs (Richa Ghosh 28, Smriti Mandhana 23, Hayley Matthews 3/28) lost to Mumbai Indians: 159/1 in 14.2 overs (Hayley Matthews 77*, Nat-Sciver Brunt 55*, Preeti Bose 1/34). (ANI)

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