Gujarat Giants’ impressive bowling performance went in vain as they lost to Mumbai Indians by 55 runs in their fifth match of the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday, March 14.
Giants’ star all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner scalped three wickets while Kim Garth, Sneh Rana and Tanuja Kanwer bagged a wicket each to restrict Mumbai to 162/8 in their 20 overs. In reply, the Giants’ batters struggled on a slow pitch as they could only manage 107/9 in their allotted overs.
Earlier, Giants’ captain Rana won the toss and opted to field first. They made two changes, bringing in Sophia Dunkley and Annabel Sutherland in place of Laura Wolvaardt and Georgia Wareham. On the other hand, MI remained unchanged from their previous game.
The Giants got off to a brilliant start as Gardner dismissed in-form Hayley Matthews for a duck in just the fourth ball of the first over.
England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt joined Yastika Bhatia at the crease. The duo took their time as they toiled hard to stitch a 74-run stand for the second wicket.
Later, Giants’ fast bowler Kim Garth provided the much-needed breakthrough as she trapped Sciver-Brunt in front of the stumps. The MI all-rounder departed for a 31-ball 36.
The Giants soon bagged their third wicket as Bhatia (44) was back in the pavilion after a run-out.
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur and young batter Amelia Kerr later added 16 runs off 10 balls to help MI reach 100/3 in 13.5 overs. The pair kept the scoreboard moving as they forged a 51-run stand off 29 balls.
In the 17th over, Giants’ left-arm spinner Tanuja Kanwer broke the dangerous-looking partnership as she removed Kerr (19) with the help of a stunning catch by Garth.
Skipper Rana soon dismissed Issy Wong for a duck to bring the Giants back into the game.
GG continued to pick up wickets towards the end as Harleen Deol pulled off a magnificent run-out to send Humaira Kazi (2) back in the pavilion.
At the other end, Harmanpreet continued her impressive form as she brought up her fifty off just 29 balls.
Giants’ vice-captain Gardner later removed Harmanpreet (51) and Amanjot Kaur (0) in the 20th over to restrict MI to 162/8.
Chasing 163, the Giants suffered an early blow as opener Dunkley (0) perished to pacer Sciver-Brunt on the very first ball.
Harleen walked in to bat at number three as she joined Sabbhineni Meghana in the middle. The two batters added 34 runs off 31 balls before Meghana (16) was dismissed by Matthews.
The Giants lost another wicket as Matthews trapped Sutherland (0) in front of the stumps.
Reeling at 34/3 at the end of the powerplay, Gardner and Harleen looked to resurrect the Giants’ innings. The pair added 14 runs before in-form Harleen (22) perished to Wong.
The MI bowlers continued to scalp wickets at regular intervals as their star leg-spinner Kerr soon dismissed Gardner for 8.
Kerr later bagged her second wicket as she removed Dayalan Hemalatha for 6.
Captain Rana and wicketkeeper-batter Sushma Verma showed some resistance as they added 28 runs off 20 balls for the seventh wicket.
However, Rana lost her wicket to Sciver-Brunt for a 19-ball 20.
Having lost Garth (8) and Kanwer (0) in the final few overs, the Giants ended their innings with 107/9 as MI extended their winning streak to five matches.
With one win from five matches, the Giants are currently placed fourth in the WPL 2023 standings with two points.
The Sneh Rana-led Giants will take on Delhi Capitals in their upcoming fixture at the Brabourne Stadium in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.