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WPL 2023 Final MI vs DC: Lanning again ahead of Harman

Harmanpreet Kaur & Smiriti Mandhana

Women’s Premier League– WPL 2023 Final: Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals

Mumbai’s main strength is the excellence of its all-rounders

Mumbai: The winners of the first Women’s Premier League (WPL) will be announced today. Harmanpreet Kaur-led Mumbai Indians will face Aussie legend Meg Lanning against Delhi Capitals in the final. The match will be played at Brobourne Stadium in Mumbai at 7:30 PM.

Mumbai and Delhi are two of the strongest teams in the tournament. Mumbai’s streak in the tournament was five consecutive wins. Later they lost two games but managed to secure the second position in the points table by winning the last match. Mumbai reached the final after defeating UP Warriors in the eliminator.

Delhi, on the other hand, faded at the start of the tournament but later made a comeback. Delhi overtook Mumbai in the points table to reach the finals directly. Net run rate helped Delhi to come first.

Mumbai’s main strength is the excellence of its all-rounders. Nat Seaver Brunt (272 runs, 10 wickets), Healy Mathews (258 runs, 13 wickets) and Amelia Kerr (135 runs, 13 wickets) are Harman’s arrows. Saika Ishaq (15 wickets) and Wong (13 wickets) are also excelling in bowling.

Both the teams have produced dominating performances and have had a somewhat similar route to the final. While DC won four of their first five games, MI won five straight but faltered towards the end to allow Meg Lanning and Co a direct route to the final.

Harmanpreet Kaur’s team, however, bounced back by delivering a stellar performance in the eliminator against UP Warriorz. With the crowd firmly in their favour through the tournament, Mumbai Indians were emphatic with bat and ball to set up a fitting finale for the T20 competition.

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As has been the case throughout, there is little to choose between the teams ahead of the final. During the league stage face-off, they won a game each. In their first clash, MI won by eight wickets and then DC returned the favour with a nine-wicket win.

In the lists of top performers too, players from DC and MI feature prominently. Lanning, Natalie Sciver-Brunt, Hayley Matthews, Harmanpreet and Shafali Verma are in the top 10 among run-getters, while Saika Ishaque, Amelia Kerr, Hayley Matthews, Issy Wong, Shikha Pandey, Sciver-Brunt and Marizanne Kapp are among the leading wicket-takers.

Serial winner Lanning

Delhi Capitals will take great confidence from having edged out Mumbai Indians for the top spot in the league stage to become the first finalists of WPL. They are the only team in the tournament to have not lost two matches in a row, a feat achieved on the back of all-round solidity.

Skipper Lanning is the leading run-scorer in the tournament and her versatility at the top of the order has set the tone for her team. The Australian legend has won a staggering five World Cup titles in her career and against Harmanpreet in finals, she has a 2-0 lead with victories at the 2020 T20 World Cup and 2022 Commonwealth Games. She knows how to win big games and that will be a massive advantage for the Capitals.

Mumbai cover pretty much all bases with their four overseas players. Matthews opens the batting and bowls useful off-spin, Sciver-Brunt opens the bowling and is arguably the finest batter in world cricket. Kerr is one of the best spinners in the game and bats in the middle order while Wong is one of the most promising pace bowlers. In fact, Matthews, Kerr and Sciver-Brunt feature among the top five all-rounders in the ICC T20I player rankings.

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There have been big turnouts for nearly every game of the season, be it Brabourne or at the DY Patil Stadium. With MI fighting for the title, one can expect another packed house. It’s going to be a heavyweight clash with some of the biggest stars in the game taking the field.

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