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Jatin ∙ Mar 18 2023, 7:32 PM | 4 Min Read

Sophie Ecclestone's Six Helps UP Warriorz Beat Mumbai 'Invincibles'

image-lfdzsiryUP Warriorz hand Mumbai Indians their first loss of WPL 2023 (Twitter)

In a stunning upset, the UP Warriorz delivered a crushing blow to the Mumbai Indians, handing them their first defeat of the Women's Premier League's inaugural edition. 

The Harmanpreet Kaur-led team were beaten by five wickets at the DY Patil Stadium in New Mumbai. This victory has put Healy's team in an advantageous position, taking a significant step towards qualifying for the knockouts.

Issy Wong's late assault helps Mumbai post a respectable 127

The UP Warriors, led by captain Alyssa Healy, won the toss and opted to bowl first against Harmanpreet Kaur’s troops. Mumbai did not get off to a brisk start, only managing to score 30 runs for the loss of one wicket of Yastika Bhatia, who was dismissed for a paltry 7 runs off 15 balls.

Nat Sciver-Brunt also failed to make a significant contribution, as she was trapped in front of the wicket by Sophie Ecclestone for a mere 5 runs off 8 balls. Hayley Matthews attempted to break free but Ecclestone managed to halt her progress, limiting her to 35 runs off 30 balls.

Deepti Sharma then dismissed Harmanpreet for 25 runs off 22 deliveries, and Rajeshwari Gayakwad got the crucial wicket of Amelia Kerr, leaving the Mumbai team struggling. If not for the valiant efforts of Issy Wong, the Mumbai team would have been in a more precarious position.

The 20-year-old played a quickfire cameo of 32 runs off 19 balls, with four fours and a maximum. However, the Mumbai team was bowled out for 127 on the final ball of their innings, with Ecclestone being the standout bowler with figures of 3-15, while Gaikwad and Sharma took two wickets each.

UP Warriorz foreign contingent seal the deal with impressive performances

In response, UP Warriors suffered an early setback as their opener Devika Vaidya was dismissed by Matthews for just 1 run. The Warriors' captain followed her partner as Issy Wong claimed her LBW for only 8 runs.

Nat Sciver-Brunt returned to the attack after bowling two overs in her first spell, immediately making an impact by dismissing Kiran Navgire for 12 runs, who had started to look comfortable after hitting a four and a six.

The onus was then on the experienced Australian duo of Tahlia McGrath and Grace Harris to help their team recover from the early wickets. As the innings progressed, McGrath and Harris began to forge a solid partnership, slowly chipping away at the target.

Both batters demonstrated great composure and skill as they played the ball on its merit, finding the gaps in the field. McGrath, in particular, was the aggressor as she smashed purple cap holder Saika Ishaque for three boundaries in the 11th over. However, just when the World No. 1 T20 batswoman looked in ominous touch, she failed to read the googly by Kerr and gave her a easy return catch after scoring 38 off 25 balls.

Sharma joined Harris at the crease as the duo had a massive job at hands to see their through and avenge their defeat from the first leg. While Harris was playing her shots and keeping up with the run rate, the Indian all-rounder was content with playing the second fiddle.

After smashing Kerr for two consecutive boundaries, Harris played one shot too many in the 16th over and ended up holing at long-on after scoring 39 off 28 balls with seven boundaries. The Australian’s wicket slightly left the door open for Mumbai again and gave them a glimmer of hope.

Unfortunately for the Mumbai Indians, luck was not on their side as the UP Warriorz sealed their victory by five wickets, thanks to the exceptional performances of Sharma and Ecclestone. The Indian all-rounder remained unbeaten on 13 runs off 14 balls whereas the England star played a pivotal role in securing the win, scoring the winning six and remaining not out on 16 runs off 17 balls.

Brief Scores:

Mumbai Indians Women: 127/10 (20 overs)

Hayley Matthews 35 (30), Issy Wong 32 (19);
Sophie Ecclestone 3-15 (4), Rajeshwari Gayakwad 2-16 (4)

UP Warriorz Women: 129/5 (19.3 overs)

Grace Harris 39 (28), Tahlia McGrath 38 (26);
Amelia Kerr 2/22 (4), Nat Sciver-Brunt 1-24 (4)

Result: UP Warriorz won by 5 wickets