It was expected to be the clash of the titans. A mismatch it turned out to be, though, at the D.Y. Patil Stadium on Thursday night.
Mumbai Indians was just too good for Delhi Capitals. Neither side had lost a game coming into this match. Now, only Harmanpreet Kaur’s women could claim that record, after their eight-wicket victory with five overs to spare.
With three wins from as many matches, they are the clear leaders in these early days of the Women’s Premier League. They owe the latest win to their bowlers, who shut Delhi Capitals out for 105 in 18 overs.
Saika Ishaque, the uncapped left-arm spinner who has been a revelation in this tournament, clean-bowled the dangerous Shafali Verma in just the second over of the match. But not many would have thought DC’s strong batting line-up would crumble the way it did.
Saika had begun her spell as the owner of the Purple Cap. It seemed she has no intention to let it go easily as she picked up two more wickets. And the most crucial scalps they were as much depended on the fourth-wicket partnership between captain Meg Lanning (43, 41b, 5×4) and her deputy Jemimah Rodrigues (25, 18b, 3×4).
After Alice Capsey and Marizanne Kapp were sent back in quick succession by seamers Issy Wong, who finished with figures of three for 10 from four overs, and Pooja Vastrakar, DC’s hopes of a decent total rested on Lanning and Jemimah. But Saika returned to remove both in the same over.
She now has nine wickets from three games. MI’s chase was smooth and clinical.
After Yastika Bhatia (41, 32b, 8×4) and Hayley Matthews (32, 31b, 6×4) added 65 for the first wicket, Harmanpreet, who had earlier in the day shuffled her bowlers well, and Nat Sciver-Brunt took MI home.
The injured Gujarat Giants captain Beth Mooney has been ruled out of the WPL and Laura Wolvaardt has been named as her replacement. Sneh Rana has officially been handed over the reins.