3 moments that generated a buzz among fans in Match 15

The Mumbai Indians (MI) were finally handed their first defeat of the WPL 2023 season by the UP Warriorz (UPW) at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Saturday. The game went right down to the wire, but the Warriorz held their nerves to win by five wickets and with three balls to spare.

MI lost yet another toss, and this time were asked to bat first in the afternoon game. There was enough grip and turn in the pitch for the spinners and UPW’s spin attack crafted a web around the star-studded Mumbai batting.

Chasing just 128 runs to win, the Warriorz struggled to form a defining partnership as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. But the MI fielders dropped some absolute sitters which proved to be too costly for them in the end.

On that note, let’s take a look at three moments from the game that grabbed the attention of fans:

#3 Deepti Sharma’s clever run-out of Issy Wong

Issy Wong’s cameo down the order proved to be vital in giving Mumbai a fighting chance in their encounter against UPW. With four boundaries and a six, Wong scored 32 runs off just 19 balls and it looked like she would take MI to a respectable total in the range of 135-140.

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Wong started the final over of the first innings from Deepti Sharma with a bang, hitting a six off the very first ball. She wanted to maximize the runs in Deepti’s over, but the latter was two steps ahead of the English all-rounder.

On the fourth ball of the 20th over, Wong drilled the ball to long off and although two runs weren’t possible, she wanted to make sure she was on strike. She asked her batting partner Jintimani Kalita to cross her and run for the non-striker’s end.

This would have ensured Wong remained on strike even if Kalita got run-out while completing the second run.

However, Deepti collected the ball and instead of running out Kalita at the non-striker’s end, she threw the ball to the striker’s end, getting a direct hit. Replays showed that Wong was short of her crease and was adjudged run-out.

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This piece of brilliance from Deepti Sharma ensured that Wong didn’t face the last two deliveries of the innings, making a potential difference of 5-10 runs to the final total.

#2 Harmanpreet Kaur’s stunning catch to dismiss Devika Vaidya

The target of 128 wasn’t a daunting one and so it was crucial for Mumbai to pick up early wickets. Off-spinner Hayley Matthews came into the attack in the second over and the move worked wonders straightaway.

Devika Vaidya tried to drive the ball past the covers, but could only end up getting a leading edge which flew towards Harmanpreet Kaur at the first slip. Just when it looked like the ball would run away to the boundary, Harmanpreet dived swiftly to her right and took a one-handed stunner. It was just the start MI needed, given that they didn’t have many runs on the board.

#1 Yastika Bhatia dropping Tahlia McGrath’s catch

Mumbai Indians were arguably the best fielding side in the tournament so far. However, the second innings of their match against UPW saw them drop three absolute sitters which cost them dearly.

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Alyssa Healy and Kiran Navgire’s dropped chances didn’t hurt the fielding side much since both of them were dismissed soon after. However, wicketkeeper Yastika Bhatia dropping the catch of Tahlia McGrath proved to be something they couldn’t recover from.

Wong had her tail up, having dismissed Healy on the first ball of her spell. She could have had two in two as No.1 ranked T20I batter McGrath could only edge a delivery on the off-stump line which just pitched and straightened enough.

Yastika moved to her right to complete the catch, but she still somehow couldn’t collect it properly and ended up making a complete meal of it. Wong and Harmanpreet were in disbelief as they knew how big a wicket that could have been.

McGrath was eventually dismissed, but not before she scored 38 runs off just 25 balls and broke the back of the chase. Had that catch been taken, the result of the game could have been completely different.

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