Matthews' all-round show powers MI to another big win | Crickit
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Matthews' all-round show powers MI to another big win

By, Mumbai
Mar 13, 2023 05:54 PM IST

The West Indian showcased the easy power she possesses to take her team home with 34 deliveries to spare

West Indies all-rounder Hayley Matthews starred with both bat and ball as Mumbai Indians defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by nine wickets in a Women’s Premier League encounter at the Brabourne Stadium on Monday.

Mumbai Indians' batters Hayley Matthews and Nat Sciver-Brunt with Royal Challengers Bangalore's Sophie Devine at the end of the Women's Premier League (WPL) cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.(PTI)
Mumbai Indians' batters Hayley Matthews and Nat Sciver-Brunt with Royal Challengers Bangalore's Sophie Devine at the end of the Women's Premier League (WPL) cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.(PTI)

Opting to bat first, the Royal Challengers were bowled-out for 155 in 18.4 overs before going on to suffer their second defeat in as many games this season. Mumbai Indians, meanwhile, chased down the target with 34 deliveries to spare, in what was their second successive win after a huge victory against Gujarat Giants in the opener.

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Mumbai were in control throughout their chase thanks to Matthews’ 77* off 38 and Natalie Sciver-Brunt’s 55* off 29. Matthews added a 45-run opening stand with Yastika Bhatia before putting on an unbeaten partnership of 114 runs with England’s Sciver-Brunt, who was the joint-most expensive overseas player at the auction along with Australian all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner.

Matthews showcased the easy power she possesses by finding boundaries in all corners of the park. She played some delightful straight drives and also picked runs square of the wicket when she could. Sciver-Brunt, too, was in command from the get-go and was severe against short-pitched bowling.

The two right-handers brought up their 100-run stand in just 48 deliveries as MI scored a total of 64 runs off the last 26 deliveries.

Right-arm off-spinner Preeti Bose (1/34) was the pick of the bowlers for RCB on what was a forgettable night for Smriti Mandhana’s attack. One would have expected them to create more pressure, with the likes of Renuka Singh Thakur, Megan Schutt, Ellyse Perry and Sophie Devine in their ranks, but they came up well short in front of Matthews and Sciver-Brunt’s belligerence.

Earlier, it was a windy evening in Mumbai and Mandhana seemed ready to bring a storm. Albeit in a losing cause, she had scored a 23-ball 35 in the previous game and didn’t take time to settle in again on what looked a flat-ish pitch. The left-hander hit the second ball of the match for four and brought out her trademark drives and pulls quickly.

In the fourth over bowled by English pacer Izzy Wong, Mandhana picked up three fours in four deliveries to take RCB 35 for no loss. Harmanpreet Kaur had used a different bowler in each of the first four overs but found herself under pressure.

But that’s when Saika Ishaque and Matthews returned for their second overs and the match decidedly turned in Mumbai’s favour. The spinners picked two wickets each as RCB went from 39/0 to 43/4 in a span of eight deliveries.

Left-arm spinner Ishaque, who had bagged excellent figures of 4/11 against Gujarat, first got rid of New Zealand’s Devine before dismissing Disha Kasat for a duck two balls later.

In the next over, Matthews got the all-important wicket of Mandhana by pulling her length back smartly and bowling it wide. The RCB skipper, having stepped out of her crease, tried to clear the in-field but ended up slicing it to point. Matthews then exploited the grip on offer from the pitch and cleaned up England’s Heather Knight.

Things then went from bad to worse when Perry (13 off 7) and Richa Ghosh had a mix-up in the middle and the former was run out. The Australian all-rounder looked visibly frustrated after looking for a quick single and being sent back.

The Royal Challengers needed Ghosh to carry on and go big but the keeper-batter, too, was sent packing by Matthews for 28 off 26. The off-spinner was the standout bowler on the night and returned with figures of 3/28.

Kanika Ahuja (22 off 13), Shreyanka Patil (23 off 15) and Schutt (20 off 14) put up a fight down the order to guide RCB to a respectable total, but it wasn’t nearly enough in the end.

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