Mumbai Women dominate on opening night of WPL

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Some Bollywood and Punjabi rap in front of a sellout crowd heightened anticipation of the launch of the richest women's cricket league on Saturday.

As the Women's Premier League got underway under the lights at DY Patil Stadium, only the game was a fizzer.

Mumbai Indians dismissed Gujarat Giants for 64 runs and won by 143; a margin that could stand the test of time in WPL record books.

The contest was less important, for now, than the start of the league, 15 years after the men's Indian Premier League started, and six years after the Women's World Cup where India surprisingly reached the final and finally captured its country's cricket heart.

Many of the stars from the Women's T20 World Cup which finished only last weekend in South Africa were bought by the five WPL franchises, and starred on Saturday.

Harmanpreet Kaur scored 65 off 30 balls, including 14 boundaries, for Mumbai to post 207-5.

Kaur put on 89 runs off only 42 balls with New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr, who was 45 not out off 25 balls.

West Indies' Hayley Matthews, who hit the first six, added 47 off 31, and England's Nat Sciver-Brunt 23.

Mumbai scored 62 off the last five overs.

Gujarat's reply started badly and never recovered. Captain Beth Mooney, of Twenty world champion Australia, retired hurt with a twisted ankle in the first over and was taken from the stadium by ambulance for scans.

When Australia allrounder Ash Gardner was out for a duck to England’s Issy Wong, Gujarat was effectively 3-3. There were four ducks in the innings, and only Dayalan Hemalatha scored than 10, at 29 not out.

Left-arm spinner Saika Ishaque finished with 4-11, Sciver-Brunt 2-5 and Kerr 2-12.

The final is on March 26.


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