Kaur’s onslaught and her 89-run stand for the fourth wicket with Amelia Kerr powered Mumbai Indians to 207/5, and their bowlers outclassed Gujarat Giants by dismissing them for just 64 to record a 143-run win.
The @ImHarmanpreet-led @mipaltan are off the mark in the #TATAWPL in style! #MI win the opening game against #GG… https://t.co/eCtwHjUymW
— Women’s Premier League (WPL) (@wplt20) 1677951962000
The right-handed batter told the media after the game that captaincy brings out the best from her.
She said, “I have been captaining teams from about the time I started playing cricket, it does not bring any extra pressure on me but makes me feel more involved. I get into a zone which helps me bring out good performances.”
“I am someone who thinks a lot; my mind is continuously (in the process of) thinking, giving thoughts and ideas to me. I think when I am more calm and in the moment it gives me a lot of clarity (as to) what I have to do.
For her incredible captain’s knock of 65(30), skipper @ImHarmanpreet bagged the Player of the Match award 👏👏 #GGvMI… https://t.co/Gd8ybJpjef
— Women’s Premier League (WPL) (@wplt20) 1677952903000
“It is not easy for me to be in that zone is not easy for me but I have to just keep talking to myself, I do not need to think too much, just stay in the present and keep backing myself,” Kaur explained.
Kaur said that adapting quickly to the pitch was key to her team’s win.
“You never enter a game thinking it will be a one-sided contest,” she said.
“You always come in with the mindset that you cannot take the opposition lightly. What our bowling department did today was something worth appreciating. I think we got a good start and when that happens you can continue with it.
“Almost all deliveries were spot on – when we were batting we were able to figure out which areas to bowl. Our bowlers adapted quickly and (that’s why) it looked like a one-sided game,” Kaur added.
On her way to the half-century, Kaur struck 14 boundaries.
“When I am in that zone I am more clear which are the areas I have to pick. Things get easier for me in this zone and today I think it was one of those days when I was more relaxed because the team is so brilliant, everyone is so positive. We are all backing each other,” added Kaur, revealing that she only got one day to train for the WPL.
We were outplayed: Rana
Gujarat Giants vice-captain Sneh Rana admitted that her side was outplayed in all departments but there was no reason to feel let down after they made plenty of mistakes in the field and with the ball which allowed Mumbai Indians to run away with the contest.
Rana said, “The atmosphere was a lot different and it was a big match for a lot of people. We have a lot of players from the domestic circuit.
“Yes, fielding played a major role in today’s match and I think it is a learning (experience) for all of us. There are some who soak in the atmosphere quickly, but some others take their time.”
The Safari Powerful Striker of the Match award for the match between @GujaratGiants and @mipaltan goes to Hayley M… https://t.co/5XoIGoTpY2
— Women’s Premier League (WPL) (@wplt20) 1677956767000
“We will speak about the mistakes that we made after this game. But we have given a clear message to all the players that they need to keep their heads high all the time. The tournament has just begun now, we need to cheer up. We will come back stronger,” she added.
Rana said Gujarat Giants never lost the intent despite being outmatched.
“We got left behind in all the departments. All the girls cooperated with each other nicely, we lost a lot of wickets at the start but our intent was always there to change the target,” she said.
Rana heaped praise on Kaur’s innings in the first half of the match.
Electrifying, memorable and iconic 👏👏We have got the action-packed opening game of the #TATAWPL summed up for you… https://t.co/yorQWH90wO
— Women’s Premier League (WPL) (@wplt20) 1677989002000
“She played incredibly well, I think for the past few series she has been in great form. This is a great thing for Indian cricket. The way she showcased her class today, the way she played a captain’s innings, it was brilliant,” Rana expressed.
There was, however, no update on Beth Mooney‘s injury which prevented her from coming out to bat again.
“It is yet to be updated by the physio,” Rana said.
(With PTI inputs)