Navi Mumbai: Mumbai Indians on Tuesday reclaimed the top spot in the points table with a four-wicket victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Women’s Premier League, riding on Amelia Kerr’s allround heroics.
Chasing a modest 126 to win here at the DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai Indians stuttered post a fiery start and also failed to knock off the target in 11.3 overs – a condition that would have helped them improve net run rate over Delhi Capitals.
Mumbai Indians eventually finished at 129 for 6 in 16.3 overs.
RCB, however, signed off from the competition with their sixth loss in eight league matches.
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All-rounder Kerr was at top of her game with figures of 4-0-22-3 and an unbeaten 31 from 27 balls (4x4s) to take Mumbai Indians over the line. Kerr added 47 runs for the fifth wicket with Pooja Vastrakar (19) to revive Mumbai Indians who were rocked twice in quick succession.
Sobhana Asha halted Nat Sciver-Brunt’s charge by dismissing her for 13, while captain Harmanpreet Kaur (2) fell for her first single-digit score in the competition. Kanika Ahuja claimed two wickets in one over to finish as the pick among the bowlers for RCB. At the start, the opening pair of Hayley Matthews (24 from 17 balls, 2x4s, 1x6s) and Yastika Bhatia (30 off 26 balls, 6x4s) laid the foundation with a 53-run stand.
Delhi Capitals will face UP Warriorz in the final league game later in the day at the Brabourne Stadium, post which the WPL points table would be finalised.
While the team finishing at the top will get a direct entry into Sunday’s final, the second and third-placed teams will battle in the eliminator on Friday to fill up the second slot of the summit clash.
Earlier, Kerr snapped three wickets as Mumbai Indians produced a disciplined effort to restrict RCB to 125 for nine.
Kerr (3/22) validated MI captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s decision to bowl first, taking full advantage of a spin-friendly track, while Matthews (4-0-18-0) and Saika Ishaque (1/30) were also on the money.
Both Kerr and Ishaque joined Sophie Ecclestone of the UP Warriorz for most wickets (13) in WPL. Mumbai made an early breakthrough when a horrible mixup between Devine (0) and Smriti Mandhana culminated in the former being run out.
Mandhana continued to drive herself back into form, hitting a few exciting shots to make 24 from 25 balls with three fours and a six, before her innings was ended by Kerr off a mistimed stroke.
Ellyse Perry (29 from 28 balls, 3x4s) took time to settle down and opened up only in the 10th over, hitting Ishaque for consecutive fours. At the halfway stage, RCB were 56 for 2.
Heather Knight perished for 12 in the 11th over with Kerr bagging her second wicket and the slide continued for RCB with the Kiwi spinner striking again, getting Kanika Ahuja (12) stumped by Yastika Bhatia.
Nat Sciver-Brunt returned for her final over to finish at 4-0-24-2, dismissing Perry and Shreyanka Patil (4) to mark yet another poor show for RCB with the bat. Isabelle Wong (2/26) also chipped in, removing Richa Ghosh and Disha Kasat in the last over. Ghosh cracked three fours and two sixes to make 29 off 13 balls, with her innings helping RCB move past the 100-run mark.