Mumbai Indians captain Harmanpreet Kaur feels that focussing on winning crucial moments of matches and not the ultimate prize worked well for her side, as they lifted the inaugural Women’s Premier League trophy after a seven-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in the final here.
MI chased down the target of 132 with three balls to spare in the low-scoring but tense summit clash at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday, with England all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt playing sheet-anchor with an unbeaten 60.
“(Right from start) we were talking about winning the moments. We were not looking for the trophy, we were looking to win all the moments. (We thought) if we win the moments, the trophy will come automatically,” Kaur told reporters after Mumbai Indians’ title win on Sunday.
Kaur said she was waiting for this moment for a long time, to win a trophy as a captain.
“It feels very good personally also. I was waiting for this moment for a long time when I could win something as a captain. It is also very important for women’s cricket,” she said.
“Many times we were there but could not make it. But here the tournament was different, the teams were different. Every side is so balanced and did well in the tournament.” Kaur’s run out on Sunday reminded of her dismissal in the T20 World Cup semifinal against Australia, but the MI captain said there was enough in her team’s tank to overhaul the target.
“Both the run outs were quite disappointing. I was confident in the last match (India versus Australia) because we had so many wickets in hand. I thought we would be able to do it.
“But the scenario was a lot different here, we had Nat in the middle and she was well settled. I knew who was going to bowl and how. We were quite positive to finish the game one or two overs left. But when I got out we thought we had to go by the situation,” she said.
She said playing the Eliminator against Gujarat Giants helped her side gain momentum into the final.
“When we were doing well, the only thought in mind was to not get into the elimination round. But after losing two matches we were in search of momentum. It went in our favour that we got one more match to play before the final and everybody got into the rhythm.
“It worked well in our favour. If you play after a long gap, it is tough to get back into momentum,” Kaur explained.
The India captain was impressed with how Delhi Capitals players Shikha Pandey and Radha Yadav added 52 runs from just 24 balls for the unbroken 10th wicket, and asked them after the game to play similarly for the national team.
“I told Radha after the match that the way they were playing, I want to see the same approach when you come and play for India. She promised to come with the same approach.” Kaur said the inaugural WPL was an open tournament and all the five teams played well.
“This was not a one-sided tournament. The next season will be more exciting. People will be waiting for this. Every team did really well,” she said.
Delhi Capitals coach Jonathan Batty lamented his side losing wickets in heaps against Mumbai Indians in the final.
“Losing three early wickets hurts you. The partnership between captain Meg (Lanning) and Marizanne (Kapp) got us back but then lost a flurry of wickets. That made it really hard but full credit (to the team) for going into the last over, (losing by) three balls left. We still had a chance of winning there at the end,” he said.
Batty said Delhi Capitals respected the call made by third umpire against Shafali Verma, who fell off a full toss from Issy Wong.
“We could not tell, the third umpire is in the best position to adjudicate on that and gave what they thought was a fair dismissal and we just lost a wicket, it was just unfortunate timing,” he said.