Late, but better now than never. Lots of entertaining moments through the season and learnings too, for those following and running the game. Hopefully, the tournament only grows from here. Hope you liked our WPL coverage.

Follow’s coverage of WPL 2023 here.

Deepak Malik / SPORTZPICS for WPL
Deepak Malik / SPORTZPICS for WPL

Replug: So many awards as per usual but this makes me so happy. Harmanpreet Kaur loves fielding, she said it’s her happy place in an interview with this writer. She led arguably the best fielding side of the season, and now she gets the catch of the season award too.

Interview: Harmanpreet Kaur on her sweep shot, love for fielding, financial security and more

We can sense that fielding is very precious to you.

Yes, definitely. I feel that fielding is something I enjoy the most. On a good day, when you are doing well, then you enjoy your batting and bowling. But otherwise, there is always some pressure. Fielding is something for me without any pressure. You just have to enjoy it, be yourself, expecting every ball coming to you. Taking a brilliant catch or completing a run out can make a lot of difference.

In my early days, when I started playing cricket with my dad, I was only a fielder. I didn’t get chances to bat or bowl but still every day I was going with him, every day I wanted to play this sport, because I enjoyed cricket. Whenever I feel low even now, I am not in a zone, I always think about those things. I like to talk to my dad about times when things were so simple to me, and I enjoyed this sport so much. Fielding is something which gives me that confidence. If I am fielding well, that gives me a rhythm that I feel in batting.

Catch of the season: Harmanpreet Kair

Purple Cap: Hayley Matthews

Orange Cap: Meg Lanning

MVP: Hayley Matthews

Emerging player of the season: Yastika Bhatia

Player of the final: Nat Sciver-Brunt

MI are champions: Some more reactions to MI’s win.

MI are champions: It’s incredible that DC went from 79/9 to the 40th over of this match. Shikha Pandey and Radha Yadav were fabulous, Meg Lanning and Co put up a brilliant fight.

MI are champions: And so, Charlotte Edwards and Harmanpreet Kaur led a franchise to the title with one Australian in the squad (and without needing her too in the XI). That is quite some way to win the first WPL trophy. I had asked Edwards in the pre-tournament press conference, and she played it down. But quite the tournament and quite the squad they built.

MI 134/3 (19.3 overs): MI win by 7 wickets, with three balls to spare.

MI 134/3 (19.3 overs): A paddle scoop by NSB and MI ARE CHAMPIONS!

MI 130/3 (19.2 overs): A push through to square leg and two for NSB. Good running. 2 runs off 4 needed. Field must come up.

MI 128/3 (19.1 overs): A single off the first ball. NSB on strike.

5 needed off the last over. Capsey to bowl.

MI 127/3 (19 overs): Two fours for MumbaiKerr and a NSB half century with a four ofF Jonassen as MI get near the finish line! BIG OVER. Not been Jonassen’s day.

MI 111/3 (18 overs): What an over Shikha Pandey. Just five runs off it.

MI 106/3 (17 overs): WICKET! For starters, she’d be happy to see Nat Sciver-Brunt and Amelia Kerr is the partnership after her run out here but that is another run out that will haunt Harman! Hit to Pandey and took off, gun throw. But it is a great over for MI though, NSB hits two fours off Capsey. Kaur run out (Pandey/Capsey) 37 (39 balls)

Need 37 from 24 balls. Nails left, DC / MI fans?

MI 95/2 (16 overs): Eventful over. NSB tries to paddle Pandey, but the ball is so close to the stumps! NSB makes it a decent over with a four past short-third. Timeout time!

MI 87/2 (15 overs): Lovely sweep by Kaur for a four to start that over, but Radha’s over is a better over.

MI 81/2 (14 overs): And the partnership continues to keep it steady for now. No sense in going after Kapp perhaps. The finals specialist not quite able to provide the breakthroughs today, 0/22.

Kapp into the attack. The atmosphere in the ground seems to be electric.

MI 75/2 (13 overs): And Kaur is starting to find the rhythm with her sweep. Another four to start that over. The 50-run partnership has come up. Over run-a-ball but keeping MI in this. Perhaps ahead?

MI 67/2 (12 overs): Oh big over! A four for Kaur thanks to a misfield by Jonassen. And then NSB finishes that over with a four too. Capsey frustrated.

77 needed off 54 balls. MI can’t afford to let this further beyond. At this point, DC appear favourites.

MI 55/2 (11 overs): No risks in Radha’s over by these two. Cautious perhaps against the ball turning away. Jonassen to bowl out early perhaps?

MI 51/2 (10 overs): An early four for Harman off Capsey, so they take it easy rest of the over. Grea work by Kapp at the end of that over to keep NSB’s pull down to 1.

Good couple of overs for MI. Capsey into the attack, will they look to target her?

MI 45/2 (9 overs): A four for Harman through square leg and more good running between the wickets. Another good over for MI.

Shikha will continue. What will MI’s approach be here?

MI 36/2 (8 overs): Some momentum for MI. A four for NSB, over extra cover off Radha. Lovely shot. Good rotation of strike rest of the over.

MI 28/2 (7 overs): Shikha Pandey comes in and it is another 1-run over! 2 runs from the last 2 overs, MI ar getting into a shell here. This may not end well.

MI 27/2 (6 overs): Wow, a 1-run over by Jonassen to finish the powerplay. DC are well and truly in this.

MI 26/2 (5 overs): DC Lose a review. Kapp with an appeal against NSB for LBW, missing leg stump.

This is a funny one.

MI 24/2 (4 overs): NSB and Kaur. Teammates here. Teammates soon-to-be in the Hundred. The partnership that matters perhaps.

MI 23/2 (3.4 overs): WICKET! Jonassen will be feeling a lot better! Huge wicket that. And that will make MI tentative. Matthews c Reddy b Bhatia 13 (12 balls)

MI 22/1 (3 overs): Commentators reckon Edwards would have told Matthews to go after the bowling here. A four in Kapp’s over.

NSB with Matthews. A wicket here would really throw the spanner in the works for MI

MI 15/1 (2 overs): WICKET! Joy on Lanning’s face. DC have struck early and no damage from Yastika’s bat tonight. After hitting a four, finds the fielder in the deep. Y Bhatia c Capsey b Yadav 4 (3 balls)

MI 9/0 after 1 over: Two fours through the offside, all class from Matthews. She is so good square of the wicket, not unlike the brilliant Lanning.

Momentum can be a funny thing in cricket. DC’s bowling unit more than capable of putting up a fight here. Kapp to bowl to Matthews and Yastika.

DC 131/9 (20 overs): RADHA YADAV! TWO SIXES TO FINISH THE INNINGS! Off NSB’s bowling no less. Madness, just madness this innings. Who could’ve foreseen that the best DC partnership would come for the 10th wicket? 52* off 24 balls.

A bit of a break in the final over as Radha gets some attention after putting a dive to complete a 2.

DC 115/9 (19 overs): What an over! Pandey on the charge. A six over point, followed by two fours. Radha hits a four. Wong finishes with 4-0-42-3

DC 95/9 (18 overs): Couple of decent overs for DC here. Shikha and Radha hits Ishaque for a couple of overs. Six runs from NSB’siover next up.

DC 79/9 (16 overs): WICKET! What a delivery. Dream off-spinner’s dismissal. Bhatia b Matthews 0 (2 balls)

DC 79/8 (15.4 overs): Matthew has another. Mani st Y Bhatia b Matthews 2 (9 balls)

DC 79/7 (14 overs): Lanning is sat in the dugout with a wry smile on her face. Must be wondering if this is how a batting collapse in the final feels like. Just 2 runs from that Kerr over. 4-0-19-2 for her.

DC 77/7 (14 overs): Minnu and Pandey in the middle. What a chance for the Kerala youngster.

DC 77/7 (14 overs): WICKET! JJ will be hoping she can take a five-for or something tonight (on a turning pitch mind you) because it’s been bit of a nightmare for her. Gets a reprieve but gets a leading edge back to Matthews next ball. Great change of pace Jonassen c & b Matthews 2 (11b

DC 75/6 (13 overs): WICKET! Arundhati Reddy looked good when she got a chance to bat earlier in the tournament and she too is out early. Reddy c Ishaque b Kerr 0 (5 balls)

DC 74/5 (12 overs): WICKET! Oh dear. Of all the ways for your most important batter to be dismissed. Jonassen sells Lanning down the river and she is run out. Ends up being a wicket maiden. Massive, massive mistake from DC.

Matthews to continue. Lanning and Jonassen in the middle.

DC 74/4 (11 overs): WICKET! The partnership has been broken. Good length delivery, Kapp goes back after an early forward movement and gets a fine edge. Good catch, by the keeper. Kapp c Y Bhatia b Kerr 18 (21 balls)

DC 68/3 (10 overs): That’s actually a solid first-10 for DC after the early carnage with two of their best batters still out there. A four each for Kapp and Lanning in that Ishaque over.

DC 56/3 (9 overs): Matthews with a 3-run over to keep the pressure on DC batters. This is a huge partnership mind you.

Meanwhile in Delhi.

DC 53/3 (8 overs): Oh wow, nearly a huge mix-up. Kapp is halfway down the pitch for a third run and is sent back in time before the relay throw reaches Yastika. Time for a timeout, we all needed a breather

Wong to bowl her third.

DC 48/3 (7 overs): Lanning continuing to fight the good fight. Two fours in that Kerr over, one off a misfield and the other off an outside edge.

MumbaiKerr after the powerplay.

DC 38/3 (6 overs): A second tidy over by Ishaque to start this final. And that’s the end of a mad-cap powerplay.

DC 37/3 (5 overs): WICKET! Pitch? What pitch? Another full toss, another wicket. Terrific catch by Matthews, as a Rodrigues square cut goes straight to point. Rodrigues c Matthews b Wong 9 ( 8 balls)

DC 34/2 (4 overs): Tidy over by Saika to start off her spell.

DC 29/2 (3 overs): Lanning angry? She is not going to take this lying down. MI are met with a counterattack and that is a good over for DC as NSB concedes three fours, one to Rodrigues.

DC 16/2 (2 overs): What an over! Shafali starts with a six and four. Then comes a moment we will be talking about for while. Out off a full toss and the umpire review returns fair delivery. Capsey is then caught off a full toss too, this one clearer. Jemimah then finishes with a superb cover drive for four.

Capsey c AB Kaur b Wong 0 (2 balls)

Verma c Kerr b Wong 11 (4 balls) 

DC 2/0 (1 over): NSB starts with four dot balls to Lanning. Hint of away movement there. A couple of singlest to close out a good first over for MI.

Nat Sciver Brunt to Meg Lanning. We are underway.

First meeting: 

TOSS: Meg Lanning opted to bat first

First innings: DC 105 all out after 18 overs

Second innings: MI 109/2 after 15 overs

Second meeting:

Toss: Meg Lanning opted to bowl

First innings: MU 109/8 after 20 overs

Second innings: DC 110/1 after 9 overs

National anthem time.

On the crowds in the tournament, the captains weighed in pre-match

Harmanpreet Kaur: We were very happy from day one - the way people came and watched. We have a lot of support from the crowd, and I think that’s what we expected. Last game, 30,000 people were there, and that is something we were always hoping for. I am sure a lot of people will come for the final. We are happy that people are coming and supporting women’s cricket. It is a great achievement for all of us.

Meg Lanning: “The crowd has been amazing. The atmosphere has added to the whole tournament and the overall experience. Wanting to play in front of big crowds is very much possible in women’s cricket, and that is a strong message going out to the young girls who have just started to play the game. Final will be a great spectacle. A lot of people will be interested in watching. I feel very lucky to be a part of it.” 

— via MI website / pre-match press conference

DC XI: Meg Lanning(c), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Marizanne Kapp, Alice Capsey, Jess Jonassen, Arundhati Reddy, Taniya Bhatia(w), Radha Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Minnu Mani (replacing Poonam Yadav)

MI XI: Yastika Bhatia(w), Hayley Matthews, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Harmanpreet Kaur(c), Amelia Kerr, Pooja Vastrakar, Issy Wong, Amanjot Kaur, Humairaa Kaazi, Jintimani Kalita, Saika Ishaque

Team news: MI are unchanged. DC bring in Minnu Mani in place of Poonam Yadav, who didn’t bowl last match. The thinking perhaps is to bring in a multi-utility player instead of an out-and-out bowling option.

TOSS: A knowing smile as Harmanpreet Kaur loses her 7th toss out of 8 matches. Meg Lanning opts to bat first.

Harmanpreet Kaur pre-match: I think if we look at our team combination, we have a lot of experience from the overseas players. They have done well for their country. Our local players, too, have some experience at the domestic level. Then we have Amanjot, who did really well in South Africa. There is Pooja too. When you have a great team combination, you feel positive. Your job is only to go out there and express yourself. We are enjoying each other’s success. Our team atmosphere has been good; the credit goes to the support staff. They are always there for us. When you work together, you always get good results. I am feeling more relaxed and enjoying myself in this tournament.


Meg Lanning, who celebrated her birthday last night, gave this interview to DC TV that is well worth your time:


Meg Lanning pre-match: “We have learned a lot throughout the tournament, which has prepared us for a high-pressure game on Sunday. We’ve just got to go out there and play our best cricket. We’ve played with a smile on our faces throughout this competition and I’ll encourage the girls to enjoy the Final as well.”

6.45 pm: Hello and welcome to the live coverage of Match No 22, and the last one, at Women’s Premier League 2023. It’s the title clash with the Delhi Capitals or Mumbai Indians set to be crowned champions in the inaugural WPL season.

We have seen Meg Lanning and Harmanpreet Kaur face off many a time before, and today’s final promised to add another eventful chapter in the rivalry between these two legends of the game. This is a franchise final, something that both of them will be desperate to win. There will be only one first-time winners after all.

Lanning’s Delhi Capitals pipped Harmanpreet’s Mumbai Indians to the top spot on NRR and earned a direct place in the final. MI comfortably beat UPW in the Eliminator to set up a title clash between the two best teams in the WPL this season.

We are due a thriller between these two evenly-balanced teams. It’s time to bring the curtains down on what has been a fun opening edition of the tournament. After 21 matches, we will know tonight who will be the winners. It’s a special night for the 22 players on the field, the contingents on both sides, and everyone behind the scenes, over the years, who has worked hard for this to be a reality.

Photos / screenshots in the blog courtesy: Sportzpics / and JioCinema