WPL 2024: Harmanpreet's unbeaten 95 helps Mumbai Indians beat GG, seal Playoffs spot

New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur led from the front with an unbeaten 95 as she helped Mumbai Indians come up with a strong finish and overcome Gujarat Giants by seven wickets in Match 16 of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium here on Saturday.

With this win, Mumbai Indians rose to the top of the points table and also qualified for the Playoffs, raising 10 points from seven matches, winning five wins and losing two. After suffering their fifth defeat in six matches, Gujarat Giants remained at the bottom of the points table with two points.

Electing to bat first, Gujarat Giants posted a strong score of 190/7 in 20 overs, riding on blazing half-centuries by skipper Beth Mooney (66 off 35 balls) and Dayalan Hemalatha (74 off 40 balls).

In reply, Mumbai Indians were down to 98/3 in the 14th over before Harmanpreet Kaur and Amelia Kerr raised 93 runs for the fourth wicket, scoring 75 runs in 30-odd balls with Harmanpreet Kaur going great guns. Mumbai Indians eventually managed to reach 191/3 with just one ball to spare.

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Mumbai Indians had started their chase of the target of 191 on a bring note with Yastika Bhatia (49) and Hayley Matthews (18) raising 50 runs for the opening wicket before Matthews was out, caught by Sneh Rana off Tanuja Kanwar. Nat Sciver-Brunt also fell quickly, caught by Sneh Rana off Shahnam MD with the score reading 57.

Yastika and Harmanpreet took the score to 98 runs before the former was caught and bowled by Ashleigh Gardner for 49, her knock coming off 36 balls, hitting eight boundaries and one six.

Harmanpreet Kaur continued to keep Mumbai Indians hopes alive, scoring runs freely as she completed her half-century off 33 balls, hitting six boundaries and one maximum. Harmanpreet and Amelia Kerr added 50 runs for the fourth wicket off just 22 balls with Harman blazing 36 runs and Kerr adding nine runs in the process.

Mumbai Indians reached 150 runs in the 18th over and went on as Harmanpreet Kaur changed the complexion of the match by hammering 24 runs off the 18th over bowled by Sneh Rana. With 47 runs needed off 18 balls, Harmanpreet Kaur struck Rana for three fours and two sixes off her India teammate. She struck Tajuna Kanwar for a six in the next over as Mumbai Indians scored 10 runs.

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With 13 needed off the last six balls, Harmanpreet launched Ashleigh Gardner for a six off the first delivery and a six off the next delivery as they reached 191 with singles off three off the last four balls.

Earlier, Mooney and Hemalata raised 121 runs for the second wicket partnership, with Mooney scoring 66 (8×4, 3×6) and Hemalatha adding 74 (9×4, 2×6). Mooney completed her fifty off 27 balls while Hemalatha reached the mark off 28 balls. they took the score to 139 before Mooney was bowled by Sajeevan Sajana. Bharati Fulmali blazed 21 off 13 balls as Gujarat Giants reached a competitive score.

They could have won the match but for the magical innings by Harmanpreet Kaur.

Brief scores:

Gujarat Giants 190/7 in 20 overs (Beth Mooney 66, Dayalan Hemalatha 74; Saika Ishaque 2-31) lost to 191/3 in 19.5 overs (Yastika Bhatia 49, Harmanpreet Kaur 95 not out; Ashleigh Gardner 1-22) by seven wickets.

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