WPL 2023: Delhi Capitals beat UP Warriorz, edge out MI and reach final
Capitals will face winners of the eliminator between Mumbai Indians and UP Warriorz
With Mumbai Indians beating Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier on Tuesday, the only certainty ahead of UP Warriorz’s clash with Delhi Capitals was that UPW, win or lose, would compete in the eliminator of the Women’s Premier League.
A victory with more than two balls to spare for Meg Lanning’s DC would help them edge out MI on net run-rate and secure a spot in the final. That’s exactly what they did with another impressive performance at the Brabourne Stadium.
It was the last match of the league stage and Delhi, who had dominated MI the previous day, completed a five-wicket victory against the Warriorz. Opting to bowl, DC restricted UPW to 138/6 before finishing on 142/5 in 17.5 overs. Tahlia McGrath smashed an unbeaten 58 off 32 balls for UPW, but it wasn’t enough to get the job done.
UPW will face MI in the eliminator at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Friday and the winner will qualify for Sunday’s final, which will be played at the Brabourne Stadium.
It was a promising start to the game for UPW as Shweta Sehrawat hit four boundaries quickly. India’s highest run-scorer in the U-19 T20 World Cup triumph had failed opening the batting for UPW in their first two games before being pushed down the order and eventually out of the XI. She was back at the top of the order and off to a good start. However, she went for one shot too many and was out for 19 off 12 balls, Radha Yadav striking with her first delivery.
From there, things went downhill for Warriorz as they went from 30/0 in four overs to 74/3 in 13 overs. Simran Shaikh, in at No 3, consumed 14 dot balls in her 23-ball 11. The 20-year-old played five consecutive dots to close out the powerplay with Delhi’s bowlers showing discipline.
Skipper Alyssa Healy struck four fours and a six but perhaps felt the pressure to up the run-rate and was stumped off Alice Capsey’s bowling for a 34-ball 36.
A telling stat from the UPW innings was that five of the eight batters who came to the crease – Shaikh, Kiran Navgire (2 off 3), Deepti Sharma (3 off 8), Sophie Ecclestone (0 off 2) and Anjali Sarvani (3 off 6) – returned with strike-rates of below 100.
With Grace Harris – she played a key role in six of the eight points UPW had bagged – rested, it came down to McGrath once again to take her team to a respectable total. The top-ranked T20I batter in the world registered her fourth half-century of the tournament, striking eight fours and two sixes in her counterattacking knock.
McGrath’s effort helped her take the Orange Cap from Lanning, but the DC captain wrested it back soon after with a sparkling innings.
Lanning and Shafali Verma were aggressive from the get-go in the chase as DC raced to 56 in 28 deliveries. Verma was dismissed for 21 off 16 by pacer S Yashasri, who was making her WPL debut and had played under Verma at the U19 T20 World Cup. But Lanning carried on. The senior pro produced some exquisite strokeplay on either side of the pitch to drive DC ahead in the contest.
However, DC found themselves in a spot of bother when Shabnim Ismail, who leaked 20 runs in the first over of the innings, returned to the attack and dismissed Jemimah Rodrigues (3 off 3) and Lanning (39 off 23) in the same over.
Delhi, at 70/3 in seven overs, needed a partnership to steady the ship again, but they ended up getting a lot more than that as Marizanne Kapp (34* off 31b) and Alice Capsey (34 off 31b) put on a 60-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
Kapp played with restraint for the most part and it was Capsey who pushed the pressure back on to the Warriorz. The 18-year-old from England, who had returned 3/26 with the ball, had hit a superb 38* off 17 balls against MI on Monday and was in command again, hitting four fours and a six.
Mumbai Indians had led the points table for most of the league stage but finished second and need another win to fight for the title.