Nat Sciver-Brunt struck a superb half-century to capitalise on a good show by their disciplined bowlers as Mumbai Indians defeated Delhi Capitals by seven wickets to emerge champions of the inaugural Women's Premier League (WPL) in front of an adoring full-house at the Brabourne stadium, here on Sunday.
Sciver-Brunt struck 60 not out off 55 deliveries, hitting seven boundaries and raising 72 runs for the third wicket with captain Harmanpreet Kaur (37) and 39 for the unbeaten fourth wicket partnership with Amelia Kerr (14 not out) to guide them to 134/3 in 19.3 overs after their bowlers Issy Wong, Hayley Matthew and Amelia Kerr shared eight wickets between them as Delhi Capitals were restricted to 131/9 in 20 overs.
Delhi Capitals, who had topped the table for a direct berth into the final, had opted to bat first on winning the toss but could manage only 131/9 in 20 overs, that too because of an unbeaten 52 runs partnership for the 9th wicket between Shikha Pandey (27 not out) and Radha Yadav (27), who hammered 36 runs off the last two overs of their innings.
Mumbai Indians too got off to a poor start as they lost both their openers Hayley Matthews (13) and Yastika Bhatia (4) with only 23 runs on the board. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Nat Sciver-Brunt came together to raise 72 runs off 75 balls for the third wicket, building the innings with patience and caution, and keeping alive Mumbai Indians' hopes.
With Mumbai Indians needing 37 runs off 23 balls, Harmanpreet went for a risky single and was out by yards as Shikha Pandey sent an accurate throw to bowler Alice Capsey, as they slumped to 95/3.
Sciver-Brunt found a willing partner in Amelia Kerr as they took Mumbai past the 100-run mark. With 21 needed off the last two overs, Sciner-Brunt struck a boundary off Jonassen to complete her half-century off 52 balls.
She took a single off the next ball and Amelia Kerr blasted two boundaries off successive deliveries and took a single from the last delivery as Mumbai went into the final over needing five runs from six deliveries.
Alice Capsey conceded one run off the first delivery and then Sciver-Brunt struck a brace off the next ball and paddled the third delivery for a boundary to seal victory for Mumbai Indians. Sciver-Brunt was declared Player of the Match for her brilliant innings.
She was also adjudged Player of the Match for her unbeaten 72 in the Eliminator against UP Warriorz. On Sunday, she held the Mumbai Indians innings together once again and made all the difference for the first champions of the WPL.
Earlier, Delhi Capitals landed in trouble early as Shafali Verma (11), Alice Capsey (0) and Jemimah Rodrigues (9) were out in the first five overs, all three offering easy catches off full-tosses bowled by Issy Wong, who claimed a hat-trick in the Eliminator against Up Warriorz.
Captain Meg Lanning, who struck five boundaries in her 29-ball 35, and Marizanne Kapp (18 off 21 balls) added 38 runs in 35 balls for the fourth wicket partnership but were out at the most crucial juncture as Delhi's innings derailed.
Kapp edged behind off Amelia Kerr and Lanning was run out in the next over after a mix-up with Jess Jonassen as Delhi slumped to 74/5 in 12 overs. They lost Jess Jonassen (2), Arundhati Reddy (0), Minnu Mani (2) and Taniya Bhatia (0) in quick succession to slump to 79/9 from where they could only partially recover to 131/9 thanks to the late blitzkrieg by Shikha Pandey (27 not out) and Radha Yadav (27 not out).
The duo hammered 36 runs off the last two overs of the innings, hitting Issy Wong for 20 runs in the 19th over and taking off 16 from the final over bowled by Nat Sciever-Brunt, with Radha Yadav smacking sixes off the last two deliveries of their innings.
Issey Wong (3-42), Hayley Matthew (3-5) and Amelia Kerr (2-19) shared the spoils as Mumbai Indians set themselves up for a modest chase.
Brief scores: Delhi Capitals 131/9 in 20 overs (Meg Lanning 35, Shikha Pandey 27 not out, Radha Yadav 27 not out; Hayley Matthews 3-5, Issy Wong 3-42, Amelia Kerr 2-19) lost to Mumbai Indians 134/3 in 19.3 overs (Nat Sciver-Brunt 60 not out, Harmanpreet 37, Amelia Kerr 14 not out; Radha Yadav 1-24) by 7 wickets.