Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur called it a ”dream come true” moment after Mumbai Indians outplayed Gujarat Giants by 143 runs to make a sensational start to the inaugural Women’s Premier League here on Saturday.
The opening match of WPL turned out to be a lop-sided game as MI stamped their authority with an all-round show, riding on Harmanpreet’s sparkling 30-ball 65 and Saika Ishaque’s four-wicket haul.
”It was a brilliant start. Feeling like dream come true….first day. We were hoping all things going our way, and they were in our favour,” said Harmanpreet at the post-match presentation.
”We kept things simple and clear. Told players to play natural. Obviously its a big day for women’s cricket but it was all about backing yourself.” Harmanpreet was also adjudged the player of the match for her knock which was studded with 14 boundaries.
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”I just thought I will watch the ball and back myself. I will not think too much, and instead react to the situation,” she said.
After posting a mammoth 207 for 5, MI returned to dismiss GG for 64 and Harmanpreet credited his bowlers for executing their plan to perfection.
”When we were batting, we knew it is a very good batting wicket. When the other team was bowling in the right spot, it was not easy to play. ”So told our bowlers it will not be easy if you bowl in the right spot.” Gujarat suffered an early setback when their skipper Beth Mooney sustained a knee injury in the first over and retired hurt after initial checkup on the field, and could not return to bat again.
Sneh Rana, vice captain of Gujarat Giants, said a few players will take more time to adjust to the high level but exuded confidence of making a strong comeback.
”This is just the start. Some people take time to soak this in, some do it quicker. This was a learning experience and we will come back stronger,” she said.
With Mooney injured, Rana might need to step in to lead the side when they face UP Warriorz.
”It is an opportunity sure but what I’ll want is that the team does not repeat their mistakes. I will tell the girls to keep their heads high and to learn from today. Definitely we will perform good.”