WPL 2024: S Sajana’s Last Ball Six Helps MI Beat DC in Tournament Opener


Last Updated: February 23, 2024, 23:57 IST

WPL 2024: Mumbai Indians opened the tournament with a thrilling win over Delhi Capitals. (X)

WPL 2024: Mumbai Indians opened the tournament with a thrilling win over Delhi Capitals. (X)

Sajana smashed Alice Capsey for a six over long-on off the final ball to pull off one of the greatest wins in the short history of the league as MI opened their title defence with a nail-biting triumph.

S SAJANA! REMEMBER THE NAME!

The 2024 Women’s Premier League (WPL) got off to a thrilling start as defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) defeated Delhi Capitals (DC) by four wickets, courtesy a last-ball six from debutant S Sajana.

Chasing 172 runs for victory, MI suffered an early blow after Hayley Mathews fell for nought to Marizanne Kapp.  They were dealt another hammer blow when medium-pacer Arundhati Reddy dismissed batting lynchpin Nat Sciver-Brunt for 19 with a ball that tailed back in and squeezed through the batter’s feet and took the leg stump down.

Yastika Bhatia and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur kept the title holders in the chase and at the halfway mark, MI stared at an asking rate of 9.3 runs per over to clinch the tournament opener.

The Baroda southpaw got to her fifty by dispatching a full toss for maximum off Radha Yadav and kept MI’s chances afloat, putting on 50 runs with Kaur but when the stand seemed to be going from match-turning to match-winning, Bhatia fell to Reddy for 57, caught by Kapp at the square-leg boundary to put the match back on a knife-edge.

The skipper ensured her side did not fall too far behind, but with 52 runs needed in five overs, DC knew they were still very much in the game.

Alice Capsey pulled the match further in DC’s favour, by removing Pooja Vastrakar (1 run off 3 balls) and Kaur (55 runs off 33 balls) in the final over. But then came the twist that no one saw as the debutant Sajana smashed Capsey for a six over long-on off the final ball to pull off one of the greatest wins in the short history of the league.

Earlier, Capsey’s brilliant innings (75 runs off 52 balls, 9×4, 3×6) helped DC post 171 for 5 in their 20 overs after being put into bat by MI.

Shabnim Ismail, making her MI debut, removed Shafali Varma for 1 and along with Saika Ishaque put the breaks on the DC innings, conceding a mere 26 runs in the opening Powerplay.

But captain Meg Lanning and Capsey brought DC back into the contest, with a 64-run stand for the second wicket and were severe on the leg-spinning duo of Amelia Kerr and debutant Keethana Balakrishnan, with the former proving to be particularly expensive in her opening two overs.

Sciver-Brunt broke the partnership by dismissing the DC skipper for 31, but Capsey continued to dominate the bowling and the spinners in particular, lofting the slower bowlers with ease and driving the innings forward. It was a fluent innings, but not a chanceless one as she got a life on 72, dropped by S Sajana.

The dropped chance did not prove costly for MI as Capsey was soon dismissed, lbw to Kerr. But Jemimah Rodrigues’ knock (42 runs off 24 balls,5×4, 2×6) offered the innings the final flourish it needed and put DC in the driver’s seat at the halfway mark.

MI handed debuts to three players-Keerthana Balakrishnan, Shabnim Ismail and S Sajana while DC brought in Annabel Sutherland for Jess Jonassen from the teams that played the final last year.



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