West Indies captain Hayley Matthews walked away with the Most Valuable Player award in the Women’s Premier League as her side Mumbai Indians won the inaugural edition of the competition on Sunday.
Having gone unsold in the first round of the draft, Matthews left the world in no doubt about her standing as an elite allrounder, scoring 271 runs and taking the joint most wickets, 16, at an economy rate of 5.94.
Her outstanding performance of three wickets for five runs from four overs, including two maidens in the final, won her the purple cap – the prestigious award given to the bowler with the most wickets.
Led by captain Meg Lanning’s score of 35, Delhi Capitals showed great resilience to fight back from 79-9 to post 131-9 in their 20 overs. Mumbai Indians were cautious in reply but eventually made 134-3 in the final over to win by seven wickets with three balls to spare.
Lanning won the toss at the Bradbourne Stadium in Mumbai and with short boundaries square of the wicket, opted to put runs on the board in the final. English fast bowler Issy Wong put any thought of a mammoth total to bed when she prized out the top order with full tosses to leave the Capitals 35-3 after four overs.
A rebuild was underway when Marizanne Kapp joined Lanning in the middle and the two put on a partnership of 38 runs before Kapp was undone by a brilliant Kerr leg break in the eleventh over. That sparked an uncharacteristic collapse as the side slipped from 74-4 to 79-9.
Shikha Pandey and Radha Yadav gave their side hope of victory with their last stand of 52 runs off just 24 balls changing the atmosphere in the stadium drastically. In only her second innings of the competition, Pandey smashed 27 runs from 17 balls, with three fours and one six, and suddenly, there was a contest on again.
In reply, openers Matthews and Yastika Bhatia were dismissed cheaply, falling to spin bowlers Yadav and Jess Johanssen. Ever reliable Nat Sciver-Brunt and captain Harmanpreet Kaur were called upon again to see their side home and they delivered. After a slow start (Sciver-Brunt was 7 from 18 balls, Kaur two from nine) they eventually began to find the boundary with regularity in a stand of 72 runs. Kaur was run out risking a quick single but it wouldn’t matter. Sciver-Brunt’s unbeaten knock of 60, accompanied by a late cameo of 14 from Amelia Kerr, saw the Mumbai Indians home and in the process created history.
Delhi Capitals 131-9 in 20 overs (Meg Lanning 39, Radha Yadav 27; Matthews 3-5, Wong 3-42). Mumbai Indians 134-3 in 19.3 overs (Sciver-Brunt 60*, Harmanpreet Kaur 37). Mumbai Indians won by 7 wickets with three balls to spare.