Mumbai Indians made history as they became the first winners of the Women’s Premier League after beating Delhi Capitals by seven wickets in a thrilling final.

Surrounded by a packed crowd at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday, the women in blue and gold sealed the coveted title after a phenomenal all-round effort.

Head Coach Charlotte Edwards was ecstatic post the win, calling it “one of my greatest achievements in my career.” She added, “Harman has been amazing as a captain, it has been a wonderful experience.”

Bowling coach and mentor Jhulan Gowsami too, was all praises for captain Harmanpreet Kaur as she said, “Many times, Harman has gone through these situations but hasn’t crossed the finish line. This time, there was good communication and she took charge. The way she handled the team right after the World Cup was great.”

An ecstatic Kaur called the win a dream come true, crediting the team for remaining positive and focusing on execution. “This feels like a dream, not just for me but for everyone,” she said. “When you have such a long batting line-up, we need to express ourselves. Happy we did that and executed our plans. Staying positive was the biggest positive.

“It’s a special moment for all of us, I’ve been playing for a long time. Credit to all the support staff. Look forward to the next year now,” she added.

Nat Sciver-Brunt, just like the Eliminator, won the Player of the Match for her brilliant all-round effort. “We knew if I was there at the end, we’d win,” she said. “We gave a few boundaries in the end, but it was still a good total for us. The win means a lot, it is very special.”

The day started on a familiar note for Mumbai Indians as Kaur lost the toss for the ninth time in ten matches. Delhi Capitals’ captain Meg Lanning won the toss and opted to bat first.

Issy Wong, who became the first player ever from Mumbai Indians to take a hat-trick, rocked the Delhi Capitals early with three wickets in the Powerplay. Wong was hit for 10 off her first two balls but she came back strongly.

She dismissed the dangerous Shafali Verma for 11, having her caught off a full toss by Amelia Kerr at point. Wong then sent back the in-form Alice Capsey too for a duck two balls later off another full toss. Jemimah Rodrigues struck a couple of sweetly-timed boundaries before she too was dismissed for nine by Wong off a full toss.

Lanning then put on a 38-run stand with Marizanne Kapp as Delhi Capitals tried to stabilise but the partnership was ended by Amelia Kerr, who had Kapp caught behind for 18. Mumbai Indians then landed the biggest blow as Lanning was run out for 35 after Jess Jonassen called for a quick single but Amanjot Kaur’s throw found her short of the crease.

Lanning’s wicket saw Delhi slump to 74/5 and they imploded after that as they were struggling at 79 for nine before Shikha Pandey and Radha Yadav put on an impressive 52-run last wicket stand as Mumbai Indians restricted them to 131/9.

Wong was the wrecker in chief at the top, finishing with 3/42. Hayley Matthews did the damage in the middle overs, recording remarkable figures of 4-2-5-3 as she went top of the Purple Cap charts with 16 wickets. Kerr was the other wicket-taker, recording 2/19 off her four overs.

In reply, Mumbai Indians lost a couple of wickets early. Yastika Bhatia holed out off a full toss for four, while Matthews was dismissed for 13 after looking in great touch.

The experienced pair of Sciver-Brunt and Kaur then steadied the innings with a 72-run stand for the third wicket. The India captain almost took Mumbai Indians to the doorstep of victory before being run out on 37.

Kerr then came out all guns blazing, stroking 14 off just 8 balls to shift the momentum in MI’s favour. Sciver-Brunt then fittingly hit the winning runs, scoring an excellent unbeaten 60 to finish with half centuries in both the knockout fixtures.

In the presentation ceremony, Yastika Bhatia was awarded the Emerging Player of the Season while Kaur grabbed the Catch of the Season for her dismissal of Devika Vaidya against the UP Warriorz. Matthews won the Purple Cap for being the highest wicket-taker of the tournament as well as the Most Valuable Player. Mumbai Indians and Delhi Captials shared the Fairplay award for the season.

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