The Hindu (Mumbai)

After SciverBrun­t rescues MI, the Saika show begins

- Rakesh Rao Lavanya L

When spin claims all 11 wickets on the opening day of a Test, it is not surprising to find the preparedne­ss of the pitch under scrutiny. But the contrastin­g ways in which the two teams dealt with spin, soon put a lid on the simmering discussion.

After England opted to bat, Kuldeep Yadav and R. Ashwin took turns to claim nine wickets and Ravindra Jadeja made his presence felt by taking out Joe Root as England tumbled from 175 for three to 218.

The gains provided the spinners stood further enhanced after India raced to 135 for one at stumps. Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal posted their first century stand of the season in under 21 overs. ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.’

One wouldn’t blame the UP Warriorz for muttering this under their breath during the entirety of the chase hoping for a miracle as the top order wobbled again, this time chasing 161 to win against Mumbai Indians at the Arun Jaitley Stadium here on Thursday. Alas, Grace Harris can only bail you out so many times, as UP Warriorz discovered in a deflating 42run win.

Harmanpree­t Kaur opted to bat on a fresh central strip at the Kotla. Chamari

Soon after reaching his half century, Jaiswal gifted his wicket to Shoaib Bashir, the man whom he hoisted for three sixes in an over. All three Indian batters on view did not hold back their strokes. Rohit and Shubman Gill, too, hit two sixes each. The Indian innings has produced 13 boundaries and seven sixes in 30 overs and quickly moved within 83 runs of England’s tally.

The batters did provide a ‘feelgood’ feeling at the end of a full day’s play. But the hero of the day was Kuldeep, who made a spectacula­r return to the venue where he made his debut with four for 68 against Australia in March 2017.

After Ashwin was introduced in the 15th over and Kuldeep in the 18th, the leftarm wristspinn­er got his act right off the sixth ball. Welcomed with boundaries by Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett, Kuldeep came back almost imme

Athapathth­u made early inroads, removing the openers with just 17 on the board. Rajeshwari Gayakwad cleaned up Nat SciverBrun­t (45, 31b, 8x4) with a slightly faster delivery that kept low. Harmanpree­t (33, 30b, 3x4, 1x6) cautiously kept her company but soon lost her offstump to a ripper from Saima Thakor, the latter’s first WPL scalp.

Deepti Sharma removed Amanjot Kaur before a quickfire 43run stand between Amelia Kerr and S. Sajana helped MI reach 160.

Shabnim Ismail breathed fire, as expected, leaving Alyssa Healy and Kiran Navgire feeling claustroph­obic at the crease. Saika Ishaque sent Kiran diately by mixing drift and turn.

Duckett went after a googly from Kuldeep but his miscued shot ended up in a brilliant running catch by Gill, who ran back to dive in time to take it. Ollie Pope stepped out but misread the spin to be stumped at the stroke of lunch.

In the second session, England was cruising along and reached 137 when Crawley, after producing his best of 79 in this series, became Kuldeep’s third victim. The ball turned and crashed into Crawley’s stumps as the batter shaped to play defensivel­y.

Though Root continued his form from Ranchi, Jonny Bairstow looked keen to enjoy his 100th Test outing. But his 18ball 29, during which he reached 6000 Test runs, ended with Jurel producing a reflex catch off a faint edge. Root was trapped legbefore by Jadeja and dangerback first, the batter not picking the line of the ball yet again. Hayley Matthews dismissed Athapathth­u while Ismail bowled Healy to leave Warriorz reeling.

The desperatio­n for a win that would open up the table weighed heavily on Harris’ shoulders as she nervously played out 14 deliveries without scoring. She managed two massive sixes, one of which she opened her account with, but fell after a laboured 23ball 15.

Deepti the lone warrior

Deepti, who scored her maiden WPL fifty, smashed a six off the final ball of the innings, against the lastballsi­x hero Sajana, but Warriorz’ fate was sealed long before that. (18b, 2x4, 2x6), (6b), (42b, 3x4),

1-64 (Duckett, 17.6 overs), 2-100 (Pope, 25.3), 3-137 (Crawley, 37.2), 4-175 (Bairstow, 43.4), 5-175 (Root, 44.2), 6-175 (Stokes, 45.4), 7-183 (Hartley, 49.2), 8-183 (Wood, 49.4), 9-218 (Foakes, 57.1).


Bumrah 13-2-51-0, Siraj 8-1-24-0, Ashwin 11.4-1-51-4, Kuldeep 15-1-72-5, Jadeja 10-2-17-1.


Yashasvi Jaiswal st. Foakes b Bashir 57 (58b, 5x4, 3x6), Rohit Sharma (batting) 52 (83b, 6x4,

Shubman Gill (batting) 26 Total (for one wkt. in 30 overs): 135.


ENGLAND BOWLING Anderson 4-1-4-0, Wood 3-0-21-0, Hartley 12-0-46-0, Bashir 11-2-64-1.

Toss: England. man Ben Stokes surprising­ly chose a backfoot ondrive to become Kuldeep’s fifth scalp.

After three wickets fell in the space of 13 dot balls, England looked at Ben Foakes to rebuild with the tailenders but did not reckon with Ashwin’s strikepowe­r.

The offspinner removed Tom Hartley and Mark Wood in one over before tea, returned to pack off Foakes and James Anderson.



Yastika Bhatia c Shweta b Athapathth­u 9 (13b, 2x4), Hayley Matthews c Ecclestone b Athapathth­u 4 (3b, 1x4), Nat Sciver-Brunt b Rajeshwari 45

(31b, 8x4), Harmanpree­t Kaur b Saima 33 (30b, 3x4, 1x6), Amelia Kerr run out 39 (23b, 6x4),

Amanjot Kaur c Saima b Deepti 7 (6b), S. Sajana (not out) 22 (14b, 4x4); Extras (b-1): 1; Total (for six wkts. in 20 overs): 160.


1-8 (Matthews, 1.3 overs), 2-17 (Yastika, 3.4), 3-76 (Sciver-Brunt, 11.2), 4-104 (Harmanpree­t, 14.1), 5-117 (Amanjot, 15.4), 6-160

(Kerr, 19.6).


Harris 3-0-18-0, Athapathth­u 4-0-27-2, Rajeshwari 3-0-34-1, Ecclestone 4-0-30-0, Deepti 4-0-31-1, Saima 2-0-19-1.


Alyssa Healy b Ismail 3 (9b), Kiran Navgire b Saika 7 (8b, 1x6),

Chamari Athapathth­u c Sajana b Matthews 3 (5b), Grace Harris b Saika 15 (23b, 2x6), Deepti Sharma (not out) 53 (36b, 6x4,

Shweta Sehrawat b Pooja 17 Poonam Khemnar b Sciver-Brunt 7 (10b,

Sophie Ecclestone c Sajana b Sciver-Brunt 0 (1b), Uma Chetry c Sajana b Saika 8 (10b, 1x4),

Saima Thakor c Saika b Sajana 0 (1b), Rajeshwari Gayakwad (not out) 1 (2b); Extras (lb-1, w-3): 4; Total (for nine wkts. in 20 overs): 118.


1-11 (Kiran, 1.5), 2-15 (Athapathth­u, 3.3), 3-15 (Healy, 4.1), 4-41 (Harris, 9.2), 5-58 (Shweta, 12.2), 6-69 (Poonam, 14.3), 7-69 (Ecclestone, 14.4), 8-106 (Uma, 18.6), 9-107 (Saima, 19.2).


Ismail 4-0-6-1, Saika 4-0-27-3, Matthews 4-0-22-1, Pooja 2-0-8-1, Sciver-Brunt 2-0-14-2, Kerr 2-0-23-0, Amanjot 1-0-5-0, Sajana 1-0-12-1.

Toss: Mumbai Indians.

Mumbai Indians won by 42 runs.

Friday's match: Delhi Capitals vs. UP Warriorz, 7.30 p.m.

 ?? R. V. MOORTHY ?? Kuldeep had the England batters in a web.
R. V. MOORTHY Kuldeep had the England batters in a web.
 ?? SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR ?? Beaten all ends up: Kiran fails to read the line of a Saika delivery and pays the price.
SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR Beaten all ends up: Kiran fails to read the line of a Saika delivery and pays the price.

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