Meg Lanning's golden touch as captain deserted her on Sunday in the Women's Premier League final as the Mumbai Indians beat the Delhi Capitals to win the title and AU$2.3 million in prize money. Lanning is the most successful captain in world cricket history with a record five ICC trophies to her name, but she was unable to guide the Capitals to glory on Sunday.
Lanning again top-scored for the Capitals with 35 in the final, but her side could only manage 9-131 while batting first. The Indians then reached the target with seven wickets and three balls to spare, finishing on 3-134.
Lanning was the leading run-scorer in the inaugural T20 competition, but she was involved in a disastrous mix-up in the final with compatriot Jess Jonassen. Jonassen set off for a quick single that Lanning didn't appear ready for, with Harmanpreet Kaur producing a brilliant throw from cover to end Lanning's 29-ball knock.
It wasn't a happy night for Jonassen despite a brilliant tournament, with 16 runs taken off her bowling in the decisive 19th over as Nat Sciver-Brunt and Amelia Kerr turned the tide in the Indians' favour. It meant Mumbai needed just five runs off the final six balls, with Sciver-Brunt quickly finishing the job with a clever paddled boundary that took her match-winning innings to 60 not out off 55 balls and sparked ecstatic scenes.
In a competition which has featured a host of standout performances from Australian players, there was some irony in the fact that the only team that didn't use a single Aussie in the tournament ended up winning. It was an emotional night for India's national team captain Harmanpreet, who led her side to victory over her old Aussie rival Lanning to cap an enthralling first edition of the game-changing Indian league for women.
Mumbai's women's side added to the five IPL crowns of the men's team for the franchise owned by Nita Ambani - wife of India's richest man, Reliance Industries billionaire Mukesh Ambani. Kaur said: "It feels like a dream, for everyone here. So many people were asking when will the WPL come and that day is here, and we are so happy and proud."
Meg Lanning reacts to loss in Women's Premier League final
Sciver-Brunt, who was named player of the match, said: "It means everything. At the start of the competition I didn't know what to expect. Coming together with a special group of girls with the Mumbai Indians, really special to be standing here."
The Capitals were ultimately undone by two exceptional performances from Mumbai's star international all-rounders. Hayley Matthews of the West Indies took 3-5 off four overs, including 19 dot balls, while Sciver-Brunt hit her third half-century of the tournament to end up as the second-highest run-scorer of the competition - 332 compared to Lanning's 345.
England pace bowler Issy Wong also claimed three wickets, backing up her historic hat-trick in the semi-final that helped take down Alyssa Healy's UP Warriorz. A late blitz from Shikha Pandey (27 not out) and Radha Yadav (27 not out) helped lift the Capitals from 9-79 to bat out the innings, but Wong rattled the Capitals' top-order before Matthews' heroics.
“The pitch assisted me today when I was bowling and I am happy to get the team to a win. It is a crazy win, hopefully the first of many," Matthews said. "To create history and bring the trophy home is great.”
Lanning said of the loss: "We would have loved to win tonight, but full credit to Mumbai Indians they have been excellent throughout the tournament. So they deserved their win."
— ghibli (@uphriaa) March 26, 2023
Jonassen horrible gamesense and Lanning worst for sacrificing her wicket.
— Arun (@ManUtdSZN) March 26, 2023
Lanning / Capsey / Rodrigues / Kapp / Jonassen
Horrible running between al of them
Too many close calls for experienced players
— Tricia (@tripholly09) March 26, 2023
Dc players are out of their minds today... Except meg lanning.. All batters have messed up today.. And on top of that running between the wickets was too horrible.. 1 run le ya nai isi mein kitna runs miss kar diye hai 🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️
— Abhi (@Abhi91325978) March 26, 2023
Harmanpreet won atleast something from Meg Lanning. That's surely something to celebrate. 🎁
— Akshay (@iAkshP) March 26, 2023
Runout of Meg Lanning made it even more worse!!
— Mahesh Nelakurthi (@maheshnelakurth) March 26, 2023
That runout of Meg lanning changed the game or the run will be above 150
— ghibli (@uphriaa) March 26, 2023
Can't believe tailenders are playing with more maturity & guts than the top order (except Lanning) 🔥 fighting total 💪#WPLFinal
— V ✨ ARMY (@Happy__Dove) March 26, 2023
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