Women’s Premier League: RCB hit by ‘Hayley’s comet’

West Indies all-rounder stars in an all-round display as MI thump RCB to record their second successive win

NEW DELHI | Updated: 07 March, 2023 12:06 am IST
Hayley Matthews starred in an all-round display for MI (Photo Courtesy Twitter @wplt20)

Hayley Matthews was a child prodigy who led her school’s boys’ team at 11. At 12, she made her debut for her Barbados cricket team.

At 16, Matthews made her mark as she grabbed none other than Meg Lanning, considered one of the most astute cricketers in the modern era, as her first international wicket.

However, at 24, Matthews is tasked with reviving a flailing West Indies side that has suffered a free-fall. The responsibility seems to have become an albatross around her neck as her fortune became intertwined with the team’s fortune.

Not so surprisingly, Matthews found no takers in the first round of the auction. But the Mumbai Indians picked her in the accelerated round. It is a decision they surely will not regret.

Mathews was the star of the show on Monday, March 6, as she blew away Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) with an all-round display that was proof of the talent that she is – a talent that is burdened by the responsibility towards her nation.

Matthews snuffed out the RCB challenge as she dismissed their key strikers – Smriti Mandhana, Heather Knight and Richa Ghosh – at crucial moments. Matthews, who bowls off-spin, was on a hattrick when she dismissed RCB skipper Mandhana (23, 17b, 5×4) and England captain Knight in successive balls.

At 43 for four in the sixth over, the RCB was in trouble. Ellyse Perry (13, 7b, 1×4, 1×6) tried to make her experience count, but Ghosh’s inexperience cost her and the RCB dearly.

Ghosh (28, 26b, 3×4, 1×6) tried to make amends as she and Kanika Ahuja (22, 13b, 3×4, 1×6) added 35 runs in the next four overs. While Ahuja took the attack, Ghosh, known for her big hits, dropped anchor.

But Ghosh failed to make the most of her start as Matthews conjured another wicket to straddle the RCB.

Shreyanka Patil (23, 15b, 4×4) and Megan Schutt (20, 14b, 3×4) added some final push as RCB posted 155.

Apart from Matthews’s three wickets, Saika Ishaque and Amelia Kerr picked two wickets each for MI.

For a team that slammed 207 in their first match, 156 was never going to be enough to stop MI. Matthews continued from where she left off in the first innings, as the West Indian let herself loose against RCB bowling.

Indian wicketkeeper opener Yastika Bhatia (23, 19b, 4×4) did well to stay in the shadow for most of the game, but once she fell to left-arm spinner Preeti Bose, it was actually game over for RCB.

Matthews and England’s Natalie Sciver-Brunt took the RCB bowling to task as they added 114 runs in 9.2 overs to help MI reach the target in 14.2 overs, losing just one wicket.
While Matthews remained unbeaten on the 38-ball 77, which saw 13 fours and a six, Sciver-Brunt slammed nine fours and a six in her 29-ball 55.

BRIEF SCORE: RCB 155 (Richa Ghosh 28, Shreyanka Patil 23, Smriti Mandhana 23, Kanika Ahuja 22, Megha Schutt 20; Hayley Matthews 3/28) lost to MI 159/1 (Hayley Matthews 77*, Natalie Sciver-Brunt 55*) by nine wickets

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