Catches win matches, goes the saying in cricket and when a team spills a chance offered by a key batter in crucial knockout matches, it suffers something that the UP Warriors had to endure against Mumbai Indians in the Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023 Eliminator here.
UP Warriorz's English player Sophie Ecclestone dropped a skier as Mumbai Indians' Nat Sciver-Brunt miscued a shot off Rajeshwari Gayakwad when the batter was on six.
There were also a few more half-chances and dropped chances that didn't go UP's away as they lost to Mumbai Indians by six wickets and crashed out of the competition.
Handed an early reprieve, England's Sciver-Brunt went on to slam an unbeaten 72 off 38 balls, hitting nine fours and two sixes, that helped Mumbai Indians to a massive 182/4 in 20 overs in the crucial knockout match.
Spinner Issy Wong claimed a hat-trick during her haul of 4-15 as Mumbai Indians bowled out the Warriors for 110 in 17.4 overs for a dominant six-wicket win and a place in the final against Delhi Capitals.
UP Warriorz captain Alyssa Healy noted that they could have made a match of it if they had caught the catch offered by Nat Sciver-Brunt, who helped Mumbai Indians slam 32 runs from the last two overs with a flurry of fours and sixes.
"If we had caught Nat Sciver on 6, we could have had the match, we were outplayed with the bat, and couldn't get momentum at all. We have been pretty good [at chase]," Healy said after the match on Friday night.
She said her team succumbed to the pressure and could not play their best cricket in the Eliminator. "We haven't played our best cricket today, we played our best against Mumbai last time," said the UP Warriorz skipper remembering their win that ended Mumbai Indians' unbeaten run in the group stage.
Healy was still happy with her team's overall performance in WPL 2023. "Our strength in this whole tournament has been we've hung in there. I am really proud of the girls. It's unfortunate we couldn't make it to the final," she said.
She said some areas of their game need fixing up. "It's not necessarily about winning the trophy but we would have been happy to get that. Some areas we'll need to fix up. What we've got is something special at our franchise," she said.