“We’ve asked her to bat with some real intent” – Michael Klinger on Dayalan Hemalatha

“Yeah Hema (Dayalan Hemalatha) was another one who probably just been starved a little bit of opportunity batting in a few different positions and you know for a couple of games now we had her ready to go at number three in the power play and our opener sort of got us off to a good start, so she dropped down a bit but tonight she showed you her class. We’ve asked her to bat with some real intent and she did that really well tonight, so I was really happy for her,” Michael Klinger.

Dayalan Hemalatha
Dayalan Hemalatha

“I think game day is different, Harman’s (Harmanpreet Kaur) different on game day when it’s not when we’re training around the hotel, she’s very relaxed, she’s involved with the group, she’s very social, and then game day, she’s a lot more focused and probably just a bit more tunnel vision on what the task is,” Nat Sciver-Brunt.

The Mumbai Indians became the first team to successfully chase down a total in the Delhi leg of the tournament. The Arun Jaitley Stadium has been known for favoring the teams that bat first at the venue.

Mumbai Indians skipper Harmanpreet Kaur lost the toss and was asked to bowl first by the Gujarat Giants skipper Beth Mooney. The Gujarat innings got off to a flying start, despite opener Laura Wolvaardt being dismissed cheaply. Dayalan Hemalatha and Beth Mooney combined to stitch a 121-run partnership for the second wicket. Gujarat looked well set for an over 200 run score but a Mumbai comeback powered by Sajeevan Sajana and Saika Ishaque meant that Gujarat were only able to register a 190 run total.

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Chasing a daunting 191-run target, the Mumbai Indians lost the wicket of opener Hayley Matthews and Nat Sciver-Brunt in quick succession. Amelia Kerr partnered the skipper in an unbeaten 93-run partnership which played a crucial role in getting the defending champions over the line in a high-pressure chase.

“Amelia said she (Harmanpreet Kaur) had that look in her eye when she was batting with her at the end. She just knew what she needed to do, what she wanted to do, and executed it. Well, like I said, she was in the zone when we were in the dugout,” Nat Sciver-Brunt.

With 91 runs needed in the last 6 overs and dark clouds of defeat looming over the Mumbai dugout, Harmanpreet Kaur unleashed her wrath at the Gujarat bowlers.

Harmanpreet Kaur registered the highest score by an Indian batter as she went on to score a 48 ball 95* which included 10 fours and 5 sixes and played with a strike rate of nearly 200 as she guided the Mumbai Indians to an improbable victory from a nearly impossible situation.

“She (Harmanpreet Kaur) believes in herself and she believes in her ability and she’s played some really special knocks over the years against all international sides and in the WPL. She’s someone when the pressure’s on, I think she enjoys being out there,” Nat Sciver-Brunt.

Batting first under favourable conditions at the Arun Jaitley stadium, Gujarat looked set for a big total thanks to the contribution from their captain Beth Mooney, and number 3 batter Dayalan Hemalatha. Eyeing their second victory of the season, the Gujarat Giants seemed to have it all under control as a second-wicket partnership between the two batters was blooming against a formidable Mumbai Indians bowling lineup.

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Dayalan Hemalatha top scored for the Gujarat Giants as she registered a 74-run knock in just 40 balls which included 9 fours and 2 sixes. Striking at 185, she ensured that the Gujarat innings did not slow down despite opener Laura being dismissed early. Thanks to the contributions from the two batters, Gujarat registered a very defendable total.

Her partner in crime for the evening was Beth Mooney who registered her second 50-plus score of the season. The Gujarat skipper looked set for a big one before she was dismissed by a tactical bowling change from Harmanpreet Kaur who brought on Sajeevan Sajna immediately after the strategic time out. Beth Mooney was one of the top batters for Gujarat last evening and scored a 35-ball 66 which included 8 fours and 3 sixes.

“It’s happened in the last couple of games where we could have got maybe 10 to 20 more runs. But you take 190 most times and I think, as I said, with six overs to go with Mumbai needing 91 runs to win, you take that almost 10 out of 10 times and it just didn’t work out today,” Michael Klinger.

Having added enough runs on the board the job was now over to the bowlers. Unfortunately for their skipper, the Gujarat bowlers had a bad day at the office as they were steamrolled by Harmanpreet Kaur’s heroics.

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