Hope WPL inspires young girls to take up sports: Nita Ambani

The Women’s Premier League (WPL) got off to a grand start on Saturday at the DY Patil Sports Academy. The first match of the tournament saw Harmanpreet Kaur-led Mumbai Indians (MI) dominate in a historic, first ever WPL match against Gujarat Giants (GG) in front of an enthusiastic crowd in Navi Mumbai.

Batting first, the batsmen of Mumbai Indians put on a brilliant performance and scored a score of 207/5. Kaur led from the front and scored 65 runs in 30 balls with the help of 14 fours. Apart from Harmanpreet’s blistering performance, healthy contributions from Hayley Mathews (47) and Amelia Kerr (45) helped the team easily chase down a mammoth target of 208 for the opposition.

In reply, Gujarat Giants got off to a terrible start as their skipper Beth Mooney suffered an injury in the very first over and had to walk off the field. His innings simply could not go on as he started losing wickets one after the other and was eventually dismissed for 64 runs. Dayalan Hemlata (29 from 23 balls) was the top scorer for Gujarat. Number 11 batsman Monica Patel (10) was the only other player to reach double figures.

After MI’s emphatic win, team owner Nita Ambani led the traditional franchise post-game dressing room ceremony.

“It’s an iconic day and an iconic moment for women in sport. It’s so thrilling to be a part of the WPL,” she said after the game.

He hoped that this tournament would inspire young girls to take up a career in sports.

“I hope this inspires young girls across the country to get into sports, chase their dreams and follow their heart,” she added.

Ambani was particularly pleased with the performance of captain and Kiwi all-rounder Amelia Kerr, who also took 2 for 12 after her contribution with the bat.

“I’m very proud of the way they (MI) played. It was a great performance. A special mention to our captain Harman, what a special innings she played. Amelia Kerr was brilliant, she batted well, bowled.” He said.

MI will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in their next match on Monday.

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