Alyssa Healy's dream of taking her UP Warriorz side to the final of the inaugural Indian Women's Premier League against Meg Lanning's Delhi Capitals has been shattered in Mumbai.
Not even the firepower of three of Australia's biggest hitters could prevent the Warriorz being hammered by home favourites Mumbai Indians by 72 runs in the one-sided semi-final 'eliminator' at DY Patil Stadium on Friday.
English pace bowler Issy Wong proved Mumbai's star, picking up a mid-innings hat-trick - the first in the new tournament - to rip the heart out of the Warriorz chase as Healy could only look on forlornly from the bench.
Healy (11 off six balls), Grace Harris (14 off 12) and Tahlia McGrath (seven off six) were the key players in the pursuit of a formidable Mumbai total of 4-182 but all succumbed quickly as the Warriorz were skittled for 110.
The comprehensive victory means Mumbai, captained by India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, will face her Australian counterpart Lanning's league leaders Delhi, who also have Aussie spinner Jess Jonassen in their ranks, in what should be a compelling final in Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium on Sunday.
Mumbai are the only team not to have used an Australian player over the past three weeks, with Healy acknowledging afterwards: "The two best teams are in the final."
She had no regrets about asking Mumbai to bat after winning the toss and felt the game would have been very different if another English ace Nat Sciver-Brunt hadn't been dropped in the deep, when on six, by her international colleague Sophie Ecclestone.
Sciver-Brunt went on to smash 72 not out off 38 balls in what proved a matchwinning effort. New Zealander Amelia Kerr, who chipped in with 29 off 19 balls, said her teammate's dazzling knock showed that the English allrounder was "the best in the world."
Warriorz needed a Healy special but, watched in the stands by husband Mitchell Starc after his own recent ODI heroics in India, she miscued an easy catch to Harmanpreet in just the third over off Wong.
Harris, one of the players of the tournament, threatened before chipping a soft one off Sciver-Brunt straight to Wong at long-on, before McGrath was run out trying to take an ill-judged single.
Wong then enjoyed her magical third over, getting Kiran Navgire caught on the deep-midwicket boundary before bowling Simran Shaikh and Ecclestone in successive deliveries for the historic hat-trick and ending up with figures of 4-15.
"We were probably outplayed tonight, especially with the bat, we just couldn't get any momentum our way and get into that chase at all," sighed Healy.
"But I'm really proud of this group, to fight the way we have. It was a really proud effort from our group to give it a crack."
Australian Associated Press
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