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WPL 2024 PIX: Dominant MI hand RCB a thrashing!

Source: PTI
March 02, 2024 23:12 IST
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Images from the Women's Premier League match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in Bengaluru on Saturday.

IMAGE: Mumbai Indians' players celebrate after Natalie Sciver got the wicket of RCB's S Meghana during the WPL 2024 match on Saturday. Photograph: BCCI

Mumbai Indians came up with a dominant performance with both bat and ball to cruise to an emphatic seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their Women's Premier League match in Bengaluru on Saturday.


Yastika Bhatia (31 from 15 balls) and Hayley Matthews (26 from 21 balls) added 45 runs for the first wicket in just 3.5 overs to give MI a fiery start after they were set 132 for victory.

There was no looking back for MI after the quickfire start as they completed victory with 29 balls to spare to jump to the top of the standings with three victories from four matches.

IMAGE: Saika Ishaque of Mumbai Indians celebrates the wicket of Sophie Devine. Photograph: BCCI

The MI bowlers had put in an impressive performance to limit RCB to 131/6 in their 20 overs.

Bhatia gave a fiery start to the Mumbai chase as she began with a boundary off pacer Renuka Singh in the very first ball and the introduction of Sophie Molineux prompted her to take aggression to next level.

The left-hander smashed the left-arm spinner over midwicket for a six and then carted her past point for a four.

IMAGE: RCB's Ellyse Perry hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

However, Bhatia was not all power as she showed a delectable touch too, like a flowing backfoot punch off Sophie Devine. But Devine had the last laugh as Bhatia was caught behind by wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh.

Matthews, who thumped a six off Georgia Wareham over midwicket, perished when she drilled an uppish drive straight to Smriti Mandhana off spinner Shreyanka Patil.

MI needed 63 runs from that point but stand-in captain Nat-Sciver Brunt (27 from 25 balls) and Amelia Kerr (40 not out from 27 balls) hardly broke a sweat while adding 49 runs for the third wicket through a medley of pulls, reverse sweeps and late cuts.

From there, it was easy for MI to canter home.

IMAGE: Yastika Bhatia gave Mumbai Indians a flying start. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, RCB would have been in deeper trouble had Elysse Perry (44 not out from 38 balls) and Wareham (27) not added 52 runs for the sixth wicket after MI decided to bowl first.

Mumbai were without their regular skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and premier pacer Shabnim Ismail, who have been nursing injuries, for the second match on the trot, but that did not affect their intensity.

The RCB top-order batters did not have the required amount of patience to weather the storm when the MI bowlers found a fine line early on.

Skipper Mandhana (9) grew impatient and looked to smash pacer Issy Wong out of the park. But the shot neither had power nor timing as Brunt completed a simple catch inside the circle.

IMAGE: Mumbai Indians captain Nat Sciver-Brunt plays the reverse sweep. Photograph: BCCI

It was a similar case with some other RCB top-order batters such as Ghosh and S Meghana who tried to break the shackles by force, not the best approach when the bowlers are on top.

Ghosh fell to pacer Pooja Vastrakar, smoking a drive straight to Sanjana Sajeevan at mid-off, and Meghana's weak pull off Brunt ended in the hands of Keerthana Balakrishnan near backward square leg.

But Perry showed how to score runs on a sluggish pitch at the M Chinnaswamy stadium, selecting her balls to perfection to punish the bowlers. She pulled and cut Kerr for boundaries in successive balls when the leg-spinner erred in her length.

She found an able ally in Wareham, who complemented Perry with good rotation of strike and occasional hits to the fence.

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