Meg Lanning doesn't seem to know how to lose. The most successful captain in cricket World Cup history has led her side to another final, steering the Delhi Capitals into the Women's Premier League decider.
Lanning made a quick-fire 39 on Tuesday as the Indians beat the Alyssa Healy-led UP Warriorz by five wickets to score direct qualification into the final. It means Healy and the Warriorz must play in Thursday's playoff against the Mumbai Indians for the right to face the Capitals in Sunday's decider.
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Mumbai had beaten Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier in the day, but they didn't improve their net run rate (NRR) enough to overtake the Capitals, who only needed to beat the Warriorz to qualify for the final. The Warriorz made 6-138 while batting first, with Tahlia McGrath making 58 not out from 32 balls and Healy a 34-ball 36.
In reply, Lanning struck 39 off 23 balls, while Alice Capsey (34 from 31) and Marizanne Kapp (31 not out off 31) carried the Capitals to victory with 13 balls remaining. With her innings, Lanning surpassed 300 runs for the tournament, going to a competition-leading 310 in the process.
Jess Jonassen, who took 1-24 with the ball, said: "For us to finish top of the table is obviously a huge advantage, we get a few days off and get straight through to the final. I'm incredibly proud of the girls and how we've come back from a few setbacks.
"We've bundles of international experience, some incredible talent within the group and a real family atmosphere. One job is done, we're through to that final, but one more big game to go."
Congratulations to Jonathan Batty and Meg Lanning and each and every player - a great bunch of players and people - let’s win this for Delhi https://t.co/dMFCez8gHt
— Parth Jindal (@ParthJindal11) March 21, 2023
Good player 🔥
— Dr Vaibhav Kapoor (@DrVaibhavK) March 21, 2023
In men's we have Ricky ponting
In women's we have meg lannimg
— Aniket atal (@Aniket__atal) March 21, 2023
Delhi Capitals have played best cricket they deserved to be in the final. Reminder DC management is doing excellent job their another franchise Pretoria Capitals also qualified for finals of SA20. They are doing excellent job lately 👌💙
— Shakti Man 💥 (@IamShaktiMann) March 21, 2023
Meg Lanning Supermacy ❤️💙✨
— Tejas (@futane_tejas) March 21, 2023
Meg Lanning really has a knack for finals. Led DC to finals of the first ever WPL. Unreal beast she is 🤌🔥#WPL
— Aniket Patil (@the_AniketPatil) March 21, 2023
Ellyse Perry and RCB suffer another brutal loss
In the earlier match, Amelia Kerr took three wickets, scored 31 runs, and effected a crucial run-out as the Indians returned to form. The New Zealander ran out compatriot Sophie Devine, who made 99 in her previous innings, for a second-ball duck as the Indians beat RCB with 21 balls to spare.
Devine was involved in a horrible mix-up with opening partner Smriti Mandhana and was run out by Kerr from backward point. RCB could only muster 9-125, with Kerr taking 3-22 and English pair Izzy Wong and Nat Sciver-Brunt snaring two wickets apiece.
Ellyse Perry and Richa Ghosh were equal top-scorers with 29 apiece for RCB, who ended their disappointing campaign with just two wins from eight matches despite a star-studded lineup. With a playoff place already assured, the Indians attacked the target with gusto as the sought to improve their NRR.
One over from Perry was taken for 12 runs, but wickets then began to tumble. After Yastika Patil went for 30 off 26, Megan Schutt (1-19 off four) dismissed Hayley Matthews for 24 off 17.
When Perry (1-18 off two) bowled Kaur, the Indians were 4-74. But Kerr steadied the ship and led the Indians to victory with an unbeaten 31 off 27 balls.
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