Mumbai, Mar 27 (IANS): Head coach Charlotte Edwards and bowling coach Jhulan Goswami praised their team for sticking together and building strong bonds as Mumbai Indians won their maiden title in the inaugural Women's Premier League (WPL) by beating Delhi Capitals by seven wickets in the final, here on Sunday.
Player of the Match Nat Sciver-Brunt struck a superb 60 not out off 55 deliveries, hitting seven boundaries and raising 72 runs for the third wicket with captain Harmanpreet Kaur (37) and 39 for the unfinished fourth wicket partnership with Amelia Kerr (14 not out) to guide them to 134/3 in 19.3 overs after their bowlers Issy Wong, Hayley Matthew and Amelia Kerr shared eight wickets between them as Delhi Capitals were restricted to 131/9 in 20 overs.
The Mumbai Indians players raced into the ground in celebration as Sciver-Brunt struck a boundary off Alice Capsey's third delivery in the final over after she and Kerr had smacked 16 runs from the penultimate over to virtually put Mumbai Indians through to a historic triumph.
"Over the moon with the win. This is one of the greatest achievements in my career. It's been an unbelievable group, they've stuck together brilliantly and some strong friendships have built, it has been amazing to be around," Edwards told the official broadcaster as the Mumbai Indians players celebrated wildly on the ground.
"Harman's been amazing as a captain, it's been a wonderful experience," she said.
Jhulan gave credit to the bowlers for restricting Delhi Capitals to a manageable total.
"All credit to the bowlers, thanks to Lotty (Charlotte), it was my first tournament as coach. Girls had a lot of faith and had the belief to do their best. We are all proud of them," said Jhulan.
Wicketkeeper Yastika Bhatia said the players' emotions can't be described in words.
(Winning the title is) Enormous, can't explain how good it feels. Very happy and proud of the team. We were relaxed yesterday and were focusing on the little things. Think Issy (Wong) was quick, the full tosses were not low, she was trying to bowl yorkers," Yastika said.
All-rounder Amelie Kerr, who claimed 2-19 and then struck two fours in the penultimate as she and Nat Sciver-Brunt took the team home, said it was an amazing win for an amazing franchise. She said they had trained and worked for such finishing moments.
"(It) helps when you're going out and Nat Sciver is there to hit the winning runs. I guess you train for and work hard for those finishing moments. You just want to keep it simple and stick to your game plan. Nice when it comes off, it's been an amazing win for an amazing franchise.
You just get into a zone but in between the balls you hear the crowd and it's great but you go back into the zone once the ball is bowled. Charlotte is a legend, she's one of the best and has a wealth of knowledge. She's taken teams to finals but to get a team over the line is pleasing to see," Kerr told the official broadcaster after the match.
Hayley Matthews, the opening batter and off-spinner from West Indies who claimed 3-5 to help Mumbai Indians restrict Delhi Capitals to a small total said it was exciting to be part of history.
"We've been through a lot of ups and downs, happy to have won it at the end of the road. This is probably just under the T20 World Cup win for West Indies. Just to bring it home for the Mumbai family means a lot. I guess wickets are wickets. The wicket assisted me, happy to contribute to a team win," she said.
Meg Lanning, captain of the vanquished Delhi Capitals, won the Orange Cap for being the highest run-scorer of the tournament while Hayley Matthews claimed the purple cap for being the highest wicket-taker of the tournament.
Harmanpreet Kaur's catch at slip to dismiss Devika Vaidya against UP Warriorz got the catch-of-the-season award while Mumbai Indians' Yastika Bhatia received the Emerging-Player-of-the-Season award.