MUMBAI: Being the captains of India and Australia, Harmanpreet Kaur and Meg Lanning have crossed swords many times, heralding one of the most exciting rivalries in the women’s game.
Photoshoots like these 📸📸What a lovely sight to see the two captains ahead of the #TATAWPL Final 🏆 https://t.co/8MbkTIAcfj
— Women’s Premier League (WPL) (@wplt20) 1679746098000
As they lead the Mumbai Indians and the Delhi Capitals in the sell-out final of the Women’s Premier League at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday night, both the stalwarts are also headlining a franchise rivalry which, in future, could attain same levels as the ‘MI vs CSK’ battles in the IPL.
In the summit clash, little separates two of the best teams of the inaugural edition. Both have gone through a similar journey as well finishing with an identical six wins and two defeats in the league stage, with DC edging out MI for a direct berth into the final due to a better net run-rate.
It’s Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals in the WPL final
Both have operated like well-oiled machinery but at times, have looked vulnerable as well. Winning five games in a row, MI were the first to book their berth in the playoffs before stumbling to two back-to-back defeats which forced them to play the Eliminator against the UP Warriorz.
However, the brilliance of Nat Sciver-Brunt (72 not out off 38 balls) and Issy Wong (4-15, including the WPL’s maiden hat-trick) saw them through that tricky game on Friday night.
The @DelhiCapitals go head-to-head with @mipaltan at the illustrious Brabourne Stadium – CCI for the D-Day! Only… https://t.co/DodIj7nZcP
— Women’s Premier League (WPL) (@wplt20) 1679733679000
“Both Mumbai and Delhi have been consistent throughout the tournament. We know how dangerous they can be, they have got some great players. It is a massive challenge for Delhi, but we are confident as well,” Lanning said.
Apart from losing to MI and Gujarat Giants, DC too have been extremely consistent. In Lanning – the Orange Cap holder for being the highest run-getter (310 runs in 7 games at a strike rate of 141.55) – and the dangerous Shafali Verma (241 runs in 8 games at a strike rate of 182.57), DC have a lethal opening pair.
𝗗𝗲𝗹𝗵𝗶 𝗖𝗮𝗽𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗹𝘀 👉🏼 THE FIRST-EVER #TATAWPL FINALISTS ❤️💙A surreal journey awaits a thrilling end. Bring on March 2… https://t.co/2O6s1fOPyo
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) 1679419125000
Praising her younger opening partner, Lanning said, “Shafali has taken pressure off me at the top of the order. She takes the game-on and turns in our favour. Hopefully, she comes in with a clear mind and is ready to take the game on and I can watch from the other end.”
Recognising the threat from the Lanning-Shafali duo, Kaur said, “They also well against us in the last game. We know how dangerous they can be. We have our plans and hopefully we will be able to execute them.”
🏆 – 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒅𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒎𝒂𝒅𝒆 𝒐𝒇. 🎶#OneFamily #MumbaiIndians #AaliRe #WPL2023 #ForTheW https://t.co/5jMAJyYgm3
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) 1679763601000
As far as their batting is concerned, Lanning has been consistent throughout the tournament while Harmanpreet has been silent for the last four games after she stroked three fifties in the first five games.
There is not much to separate both the teams. They are blessed with a solid batting line-up and penetrative attacks. While MI have the edge in spin, DC have better pacers at their disposal.