Ecclestone delivers crucial win for UPW as MI suffer maiden loss

WPL 2023

Ecclestone delivers crucial win for UPW as MI suffer maiden loss

by crickethighlights.one Staff • Last updated on Sat, Mar 18

Sophie Ecclestone came up with a fine all-round performance as UP Warriorz handed Mumbai Indians their maiden WPL loss. UPW used 18 overs of spin and, led by Ecclestone’s three-wicket haul, kept MI in check with regular strikes at the DY Patil Sports Academy on Saturday (March 18). Rajeshwari Gayakwad pitched in with two wickets while Deepti Sharma, although a touch expensive, also picked up a couple of wickets as MI finished with 127, which was only possible because of Issy Wong’s 19-ball 32. Tahlia McGrath and Grace Harris scored useful 30s in the chase before Ecclestone finished it off with an unbeaten 16, which included a six off Wong in the final over, as UPW won with three deliveries to spare.

Early strikes and mixed-bag catching by MI

Hayley Matthews bagged the first wicket thanks to a stunning one-handed effort from Harmanpreet Kaur at slip to send Devika Vaidya back to the hut. MI’s catching standards, however, dipped soon after as Amanjot Kaur put down a sitter at deep backward square to give Alyssa Healy a lucky break and Kiran Navgire was put down by Humaira Kazi at point, much to the disappointment of Nat Sciver-Brunt. UPW’s openers cashed in as they struck a few boundaries, including a six for Navgire off Matthews. But the smile was back on the MI players’ faces as Wong trapped Healy in front, using the DRS to reverse the onfield call of not out. However, Wong was denied a wicket in the same over as Yastika put down a simple chance when McGrath got an outside edge. She did make up for it, though, with an excellent catch down the leg side to dismiss Navgire off Sciver-Brunt.

McGrath, Harris sizzle before Ecclestone finishes it

On a pitch that was on the slower side, MI kept UPW to 52/3 at the halfway stage of the chase. But UPW picked up pace as McGrath, who had struck a four and a six off Wong, hit three fours in a Saika Ishaque over to ease the pressure. Amelia Kerr also conceded a boundary but came back well by taking a catch off her own bowling to send the dangerous McGrath back for 38 off 25. Thereafter, Harris, who had played a supporting role in a 44-run stand with McGrath, shouldered the responsibility of taking UPW towards the target. She struck two fours off Sciver-Brunt who decided to bowl short, and then scooped and cut two deliveries from Amanjot for boundaries. Kerr too was hit for two boundaries by Harris who brought the required rate below six before falling to the legspinner. UPW needed only 22 off the last four overs, which came down to 13 off 12 as Ecclestone hit a boundary off Kerr. With five needed off four, Ecclestone cleared the fence off Wong to deliver a crucial win for UPW.

A quiet first half for MI

Gayakwad gave away only five runs in the two overs that she bowled in the powerplay while Anjali Sarvani also bowled disciplined lines to keep the MI openers quiet. Even though Matthews struck two successive sixes off Grace Harris and a four off Sarvani, MI managed only 31 runs in the first six overs. Yastika, who struggled for her 7 off 15, fell to Sarvani having been reprieved earlier. Meanwhile, Sciver-Brunt struck one hard at Gayakwad who put down a tough chance off her own bowling. But it wasn’t a costly miss as the England all-rounder missed a flick to be trapped in front by Ecclestone. Despite Matthews striking a six off Deepti in her first over, MI managed only 56/2 in the first 10 overs.

Spinners continue to choke MI before Wong’s cameo

Harmanpreet counter-attacked with a flurry of boundaries but UPW continued to chip away as Ecclestone had Matthews top-edge a pull while Gayakwad had Kerr caught at backward square leg after the batter top-edged a sweep. Harmanpreet managed to overturn a decision after being given out caught-behind off Deepti but she fell the very next ball handing a catch to deep midwicket to leave MI at 78/5 in the 14th over. Wong found the fence a few times and was also put down by Navgire in the deep off Ecclestone. But the England spinner had Amanjot stumped soon after to bag her third wicket. Gayakwad picked up her second as Kazi was bowled off a delivery that came on straight and Deepti bagged her second after Dhara Gujjar missed a slog-sweep. Wong struck a six and a four off Deepti in a dazzling cameo to help her side past 120 before the bowler effected two run-outs to bowl MI out in the final over.

Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 127 in 20 overs (Hayley Matthews 35, Issy Wong 32; Sophie Ecclestone 3-15) lost to UP Warriorz 129/5 in 19.3 overs (Grace Harris 39, Tahlia McGrath 38; Amelia Kerr 2-22) by 5 wickets.

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