WPL 2024: Kiran Navgire powers UP Warriorz to win over Mumbai Indians | Cricket - Hindustan Times

WPL 2024: Kiran Navgire powers UP Warriorz to win over Harmanpreet Kaur-less Mumbai Indians

By, Mumbai
Feb 29, 2024 12:01 AM IST

UPW chased down the target of 162 set by champions MI in 16.3 overs in Bengaluru.

Kiran Navgire brought to the fore her sheer power under lights at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The Pune-born Nagaland batter who always wanted to hit sixes like MS Dhoni, outscored UP Warriorz captain Alyssa Healy during their 94-run opening partnership to set up their first win of this Women's Premier League (WPL) campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians.

UP Warriorz' captain Alyssa Healy and Kiran Navgire run between the wickets(PTI)
UP Warriorz' captain Alyssa Healy and Kiran Navgire run between the wickets(PTI)

The first Indian to hit a 150-plus score in a domestic T20 match against Arunachal Pradesh, Navgire always carried a reputation. It wasn’t rewarded the same way at the auction table, but the hard-hitter more than lived up to her 30 lakh price tag with a half-century that included four powerful sixes in the 'V'.

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By the time Navgire was stumped in the 10th over off Amelia Kerr for 57 (31b, 6x4, 4x6) she had done significant damage to MI and boosted UPW’s quest to surpass the 162-run target, which they did with 21 balls to spare and seven wickets in hand.

MI, having won their first two games in the five-team tournament, were forced to play without skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and pacer Shabnim Ismail – both were nursing niggles. Batting first, their top order comprising Hayley Matthews (55), Yastika Bhatia (26) and stand-in skipper Nat Sciver-Brunt (19) gave a good start, getting 92 runs by the time the second wicket fell in the 13th over. Even the rest of the MI batters were quick off the blocks, maximising the death overs with 54 runs coming in the final five.

This was epitomised by Issy Wong hitting a six and Sajeevan Sajana getting a four off the first ball they faced. Until Navgire began to fire, it didn’t look a bad total. UPW still has plenty of room for improvement with the ball and in fielding. While Grace Harris (4-0-20-1) and Sophie Ecclestone (4-0-25-1)

were the pick of their bowlers, Warriorz's Indian bowling contingent went for around 10 runs-per-over. On the field, there were dropped catches, missed run outs, and even a gifted boundary off an overthrow. From behind the stumps, Healy could only sport a wry smile. By the time the match ended though, her opening partner with the bat had given her enough reasons to rejoice.

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    Rasesh Mandani loves a straight drive. He has been covering cricket, the governance and business side of sport for close to two decades. He writes and video blogs for HT.

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