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The Women’s Premier League has already reached the halfway stage and with every game Mumbai Indians are improving their reputation as a team to beat. On Tuesday, they completed a double over Gujarat Giants, en route to winning their fifth game in a row and qualifying for the playoffs. And as has happened so far in the tournament, Harmanpreet Kaur once again lost the trouble, but right now Mumbai are playing their A game and such is their confidence that conditions and attack don’t seem to matter.
This was a game where Gujarat showed signs of taking control of the game. But every time they threatened, Mumbai found a way to take the lead. If Harmanpreet did it with the bat scoring a typical 30-ball 51 when the Gujarat attack was breaking away with wickets, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Hayley Mathew and Amelia Kerr did it with the ball. The only standout performance from Gujarat’s end came from Harleen Deol, who was outstanding on the field. Counting on a direct hit from long-on to run out Humaira Kazi, she followed up with a diving catch to end Harmanpreet’s power-packed innings.
With just one win from five games, Gujarat need to get their act together quickly, otherwise they risk missing out on a play-off berth. At the moment, they seem a long way from knowing what their best combination is and nothing showed it more than their decision to play midfielder Mansi Joshi, who didn’t even get a chance to bowled and became No. 11.
5️⃣ in a row ✅
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Harmanpreet has blown hot and cold in T20s in the past, but so far in the tournament she seems to be cracking the code. Maybe it’s about a reliable opening combination at the top that lays a strong foundation or the batting depth that not many other teams can boast of, Harmanpreet has been able to deliver the kind of shots that will more often than not be a match . – winning innings. At the end of the 10th over with Yastika Bhatia and Nat Sciver-Brunt setting up for another big total at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai were set at 64/1. In the next couple of overs where Mumbai would shift their gear, they lost both the steady batsmen.
While they are definitely not short of firepower in the middle overs, Kerr’s departure in the 17th over meant that Harmanpreet had to deliver. On days where she looks in her element, there is an air of invincibility about Harmanpreet. He can find gaps wherever he wants, he can find a boundary ball whenever he wants. Similar to what he did on Tuesday, where he hit a couple of sixes effortlessly and played fair on the field. Mumbai lost seven wickets in the last 10 overs, but thanks to Harmanpreet, they ended up with 162/8.
Have a ball
With the pitches starting to tire, and drizzle not being a problem so far, the target was going to be a steep one for Gujarat. And from the moment Sciver-Brunt removed Sophia Dunkley off the first ball of the innings, Mumbai were well and truly in the lead. From then on, their spinners Matthews and Kerr took over, getting crucial hits every time Gujarat tried to get on the front foot. The tie was over, when Ashleigh Gardner departed in the first ball of the ninth over to leave Gujarat reeling at 48/5. From then on, the only academic interest was in Mumbai’s margin of victory, which ended up being 55.