Mumbai Indians beat UP Warriorz by 72 runs in the Eliminator of the TATA WPL at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Friday.
Nat Sciver-Brunt's magnificent all-round performance and Issy Wong's spectacular hat-trick helped MI cruise into the final. Nat Sciver-Brunt hit a scintillating 72* off 38 balls and took the big wicket of Grace Harris while Wong bowled a fiery spell of 4/15 including a first-ever WPL hat-trick, to help MI qualify for the final where they will meet Delhi Capitals at the Brabourne Stadium.
Defending 182, MI started off well as they sent back openers Shweta Sehrawat and Alyssa Healy inside the first three overs. Saika Ishaque bowled a brilliant second over as she built the pressure with five dot balls and then sent back Sehrawat off the sixth. Issy Wong then got the big wicket of Healy who looked to flick but got a leading edge to mid off.
It went from bad to worse for UPW as Tahla McGrath was run out in the fifth over thanks to some brilliant tag-team work from the fielder Amanjot Kaur and keeper Yastika Bhatia.
Harris and Navgire then looked to counter-attack as they hit Ishaque for three fours and a six in the final over of the Powerplay to reach 46/3 at the end of six overs.
The pair continued to attack and Navgire got a lifeline on 21 when she was dropped by Hayley Matthews in the deep. Nat-Scver Brunt then provided a huge moment in the match as she had Harris caught at long on for 14 as UPW were reduced to 56/4.
After three quiet overs, Navgire pressed the accelerator button as she smashed two sixes off Kerr. Harmanpreet then brought back Wong and she went on to script history as she scalped the first-ever hat-trick of the WPL. She had the dangerous Navgire caught at deep mid-wicket for 43(27). And then cleaned up Simran Shaikh with a searing yorker and then made Sophie Ecclestone drag one onto the stumps to leave UPW tottering at 84/7.
Mathews then returned to send back Deepti Sharma. Jintimani Kalita cleaned up Anjali Sarvani off her first ball and then Saika Ishaque trapped Rajeshwari Gayakwad LBW as MI bowled UPW out for 110 and won the match by 72 runs.
Earlier, UP Warriorz captain Alyssa Healy won the toss and elected to bowl. They made two changes to the side as Grace Harris and Rajeshwari Gayakwad replaced Shabnim Ismail and Soppadhandi Yashasri while Mumbai Indians went unchanged.
MI opener Yastika Bhatia started off in an aggressive fashion as she swept the first ball of the innings from Grace Harris for a four. She then sliced one over point, off Anjali Sarvani in the next over. She charged down the track first ball to Rajeshwari Gayakwad and sliced it over backward point for her third four and again lofted one over point four balls later for another four in the over. Hayley Matthews then opened up as she slog swept one over deep square leg for the first six of the innings, off Harris.
Bhatia (21 off 18), who was looking good, then looked to go after Anjali but ended up mistiming one straight to mid on. MI could have had another wicket inside the Powerplay but Sophie Ecclestone dropped Nat Sciver-Brunt off Gayakwad when on 6.
It was a see-saw battle in the Powerplay as both teams played well in patches. MI reached 46/1 at the end of six overs.
Matthews and Nat Sciver-Brunt then kept the scoreboard ticking with an odd boundary an over. Anjali was in action again in the 9th over as she pouched a low catch of Matthews at fine leg off Deepti Sharma. But the on-field umpire referred it upstairs and the third umpire thought it was touching the ground and ruled it not out.
Matthews (26 off 26) though departed in the next over as she hit one straight to Kiran Navgire at long on, off Parshavi Chopra's first ball. Things started to happen from then on as Harmanpreet Kaur was then adjudged LBW three balls later but she reviewed it immediately and replays showed there was bat involved as the decision was reversed. Nat Sciver-Brunt then took the attack to Parshavi as she hit her for two fours and a six in the 12th over as MI collected 16 runs off the over.
Harmanpreet Kaur pulled off a reverse sweep off Ecclestone to get her first four of the innings. However, Ecclestone got the better of the MI captain two balls later as she cleaned her up for 14. Nat Sciver-Brunt then brought up her fifty (off 26 balls) in style as she drove one wide of long off, off Ecclestone for a four. Nat Sciver-Brunt went from strength to strength as she smacked a couple of fours off Gayakwad as MI garnered 13 runs from the 17th over. Amelia Kerr played the support act for most part but then started to accelerate as she hit three fours in a row off Ecclestone to bring up the 50-run stand. Ecclestone, however, bounced back to dismiss Kerr (29 off 19) off the next ball as she had her caught at deep square leg.
Pooja Vastrakar arrived and got going straight away as she smacked a four and a six off Deepti Sharma in the final over. Nat Sciver-Brunt finished the innings in style as she launched one over deep mid-wicket for a six off the last ball to make it 18 off the last over. Nat Sciver-Brunt remained unbeaten on 72 off 38 balls as MI posted 182/4.