Mumbai Indians 162 for 8 (Harmanpreet 51, Yastika 44, Gardner 3-34) beat Gujarat Giants 107 for 9 (Harleen 22, Sciver-Brunt 3-21, Matthews 3-23, Kerr 2-18) by 55 runs
That is when she sought out a sports activities psychologist to clear her thoughts and free herself as much as be the fearless batter she was identified to be, as a substitute of enjoying with an inherent worry.
Twelve months later, Harmanpreet is elevating the bar and revelling within the freedom she appears to have given herself. It is also the sort of freedom that comes with figuring out she leads a gaggle of extremely expert match-winners at Mumbai Indians within the inaugural Ladies’s Premier League.
And Harmanpreet’s knock did simply that. Even when it wasn’t fairly the showstopper, it had sufficient punch to assist ship a fifth straight win that has assured Mumbai a playoff berth. For the file, they’re the one unbeaten group even because the competitors has veered previous the midway mark.
Her 51 off 30 balls had all the everyday parts: the excessive backlift, the ferocious sweeps, deft touches and robust backside hand. These helped her reel off seven fours and two sixes, each off Annabel Sutherland within the penultimate over.
The primary was a strong heave over sq. leg off a excessive full toss, and the second a fantastic concoction of wrist work and timing as she stood deep in her crease and transformed a yorker-length supply right into a half-volley that she whipped over the ropes.
Earlier than that, it was about her smarts. Harmanpreet peppered the very boundaries bowlers have been dreading after they tried to bowl broad exterior off in an try to bowl exterior her arc.
She was in a position to take action by standing on middle-stump after which shuffling throughout to get near the road and let her instincts take over. Then when she had the bowlers second-guessing, she outfoxed them by dabbing or chopping related deliveries behind sq. on the off facet.
When in full move, Harmanpreet can hit related deliveries to completely different arcs. That is strain sufficient for the bowlers, even when they’re as expert and skilled as Ashleigh Gardner, who within the ultimate over discovered herself walloped to the leg-side boundary regardless of having three fielders patrolling the deep.
The second ball of the ultimate over was full on middle-and-off which Harmanpreet slog-swept into the hole between broad long-on and deep midwicket. Anticipating one other shuffle to play an analogous shot, Gardner tossed it up wider, solely to see the ball scythed over additional cowl as Harmanpreet raised a 29-ball half-century within the ultimate over of the innings. It was her second straight fifty-plus rating and third general within the season.
It helped Mumbai submit 162, which appeared like 200 on a floor the place their artful spinners got here into their very own.
In successful, Mumbai additionally turned the primary group within the WPL to efficiently defend a rating beneath 200.
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo