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Lanning and Rodrigues fifties help Capitals start Delhi leg with a win

replay of , Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka, Group B, Asia Cup 2022, Dubai, August 27, 2022
Lanning and Rodrigues fifties help Capitals start Delhi leg with a win


Delhi Capitals 192 for 4 (Rodrigues 69*, Lanning 53) beat Mumbai Indians 163 for 8 (Amanjot 42, Matthews 29, Jonassen 3-21, Kapp 2-37) by 29 runs

Delhi Capitals couldn’t have asked for a better start in their home stretch. They saw off the Mumbai Indians quite comfortably courtesy half-centuries from Meg Lanning and Jemimah Rodrigues, before all their bowlers enjoyed a wonderful evening out. They’re now perched at the top of the standings with eight points and a healthy net run rate that increasingly looks difficult to catch.

The match had plenty of moments: dropped catches, stunning wrist work, cuts with precision, a world record broken and prodigious swing from a veteran. The result, though, was mostly one-way traffic, with Mumbai left to regroup quickly after a demoralizing defeat.

Ismail shatters record on return

It was a loud thud into Lanning’s pad in the third over. The umpire was unmoved and Ismail had hands on her head. Unknowingly, though, Shabnim Ismail had shattered the record for the fastest recorded delivery in women’s cricket. It was clocked at 132.1kph. The same Ismail, who was walking with a slight limp four days ago in Bengaluru, was firing away.

The drop, shovel and send-off

Ismail should’ve had Shafali Verma in the same over, when she miscued an attempted cross-batted swat to mid-on, but Saika Ishaque grassed the opportunity. Ismail was seething. But there was more agony in store, when Shafali hit her for back-to-back sixes in the next over; the bottom-handed shovel down the ground like a body blow. But Ismail had the last laugh when she had Shafali nicking off next ball. Ismail roared, gave Shafali a mouthful along with a send-off. It broke a dangerous opening stand as the Capitals ended the powerplay at 56 for 1.

Lanning comes into her own

Early in her innings, Lanning connected a full-length ball Nat Sciver-Brunt served up. It went soaring over the long-on boundary and Lanning held her shape until the ball bounced onto the seats. It told you how much she enjoyed it. It told you Lanning was in the mood, an avatar of hers we hadn’t seen yet in WPL 2024.

After the first six, her range of shots got better. The trademark cuts were there, she pulled well, even to deliveries that hardly bounced, showing how much control she had and how well she was maneuvering the low bounce, and in general, seemed to enjoy taking the spinners on.

She was particularly severe on legspinner Amelia Kerr, taking her for a sequence of 4, 6, and 4 in the 12th over. Soon enough, she raised her third half-century of the season off 36 balls with her patented cut. She fell playing a pull, brilliantly caught at deep midwicket by Kerr.

The Jemimah Rodriguesshow

When Lanning was dismissed, Rodrigues was on 8 off 8. And going into the last five overs, she was on 13 off 14. Then she flicked a switch. She decided it was time to go, and she took down the bowlers by following a simple mantra. She set her base by shuffling outside off, crouching low and then allowing herself to react.

When Ismail went slow and full outside off, Rodrigues swung her cleanly into the midwicket fence. When she went wide yorker, Rodrigues scythed her over point. And when Pooja Vastrakar bowled short, Rodrigues helped her along to the fine leg boundary.

There was more in store, as she sliced and lofted Sciver-Brunt for 17 off the penultimate over, accessing all corners of the field. The last five overs produced 69, and Rodrigues finished 69 not out off 33 balls; quite an astonishing acceleration after failing to connect early on in her innings.

Mumbai flattened early

Yastika Bhatia was out in the first over, defeated by Marizanne Kapp’s skid to be bowled. Sciver-Brunt was castled in the second, playing all around a Shikha Pandey inswinger. When Harmanpreet Kaur fell in the fourth, getting a leading edge to point off Kapp, it was nearly curtains for Mumbai.

They kept hurtling from one wicket to another from there on, with only Amanjot Kaur and S Sajana offering some kind of fight to make 42 and 24 not out respectively to reduce the margin of defeat that puts Mumbai in a slightly precarious position with three league games remaining.

Jess Jonassen, who forced her way into the XI three games ago, seems to have now made the allrounders’ spot her own, having now picked up eight wickets on top of the leaderboard.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo



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