Aali Re... (She has arrived).
The women of Mumbai Indians certainly have arrived. They have not just lived up to their imaginative marketing campaign featuring that catchy song (Aali Re…). They lifted the first-ever Women’s Premier League title on a pleasant Sunday night.
They did that in front of their vocal, passionate home crowd, which filled the Brabourne Stadium. They chased down the modest target set up by Delhi Capitals, with seven wickets and three balls to spare.
MI’s innings didn’t have the best of starts, losing openers Hayley Matthews and Yastika Bhatia inside four overs. But that woman, Nat Sciver-Brunt (60 not out, 55b, 7x4), who has nerves of steel, played her second successive match-winning knock in a row to take her team home.
She paced her innings calmly and cleverly. As did her captain Harmanpreet Kaur (37, 39b, 5x4), as they added 72 priceless runs for the third wicket.
After Harmanpreet was run out, the England all-rounder ensured there was no further hiccup, in the company of the Kiwi all-rounder Amelia Kerr (14 not out). Twenty one were required from the last two overs; 16 came off the 19th, bowled by Jess Jonassen.
That meant only five runs were needed in Alice Capsey’s final over. Fittingly, Brunt played the winning shot, scooping a boundary over the ‘keeper.
Earlier, it took a stunning rearguard action by the last-wicket pair of Shikha Pandey (27 not out, 17b, 3x4, 1x6) and Radha Yadav (27 not out, 12b, 2x4, 2x6) to give Capitals to something to bowl.
Their unbroken 10th wicket-stand of 52 came off just 24 balls. Before that, captain Meg Lanning (35, 29b, 5x4) had played a fighting knock, after her team got off to poor start against hat-trick heroine Issy Wong, who took three wickets in her first two overs.
But Lanning was run out and there was a dream spell of off-spin from Hayley Matthews (4-2-5-3).
Later on in the night, the dream began a reality for MI, in this city of dreams.
Brief Score: Delhi Capitals: 131 for 9 in 20 overs (Meg Lanning 35; Hayley Matthews 3/5, Issy Wong 3/42).
Mumbai Indians: 134 for 3 in 19.3 overs (Nat Sciver-Brunt 60 not out, Harmanpreet kaur 37; Radha Yadav 1/24).