Jess Jonassen’s all-round show, Meg Lanning’s half century helped DC overcome Australian teammate Tahlia McGrath’s heroics to beat Warriorz
That Australia is an indomitable force in women’s cricket is never in doubt. And at the auction table for the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), it was not surprising to see that Australians dominated the show despite Smriti Mandhana’s highest bid.
On Tuesday, March 7, it was a trio of Australians, albeit playing for different teams, which hogged the limelight as the Delhi Capitals recorded their second successive win with an impressive 42-run win over the UP Warriorz at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
Jess Jonassen starred in an all-round display as she virtually sealed the fate of the match in two balls as DC snuffed out the wind from Warriorz’s sail.
The third ball of the fourth over of Warriorz’s chase set the tone for DC’s defence as Jonassen, who was given the ball after Australia’s wicketkeeper and Warriorz skipper Alyssa Healy (24, 17b, 5×4) threatened to mount a strong challenge.
Jonassen delivered, and she delivered with style. The left-arm spinner first set up Healy before the Warriorz skipper skied one to point while trying to force the pace while chasing DC’s 211.
Two balls later, Jonassen removed hard-hitting Kiran Navgire, who scored an impressive 50 in the last match against the Gujarat Giants. Two down inside four overs, Jonassen had done her job.
Critics can argue that Jonassen’s next three overs cost 35 runs, but the fact is she also picked up Devika Vaidya (23, 21b, 2×4). But what was most important was that Warriorz never got the momentum that Healy set. Two big wickets pegged them back to a position that they could never recover from.
True Australian all-rounder Tahlia McGrath did a lone ranger act with an unbeaten 50-ball 90, which saw 15 boundaries, including four sixes. But the fact is McGrath lacked the firepower from the other end.
One can only imagine what would have happened if one of Healy or Navgire remained there when McGrath was taking the bull by the horns.
Credit should also be given to medium pacers Marizanne Kapp and Shikha Pandey, especially the way they recovered from Healy’s onslaught and kept things tight as DC restricted their rivals to 169 for five to record an easy win.
Credit should also be given to off-spinner Alice Capsey for keeping things under control with the ball when McGrath threatened to upend her international teammates.
Asked to bat, Lanning, the cricket world’s most decorated skipper, set the tone with a 42-ball 70 that saw 10 fours and three sixes despite a rain break. She also had a 62-run opening stand with Shafali Verma.
If Lanning set the tone, it was Jonassen who gave the finishing touches with Jemimah Rodrigues, who seems to be finally realising her immense potential with some consistent runs.
Jonassen tore apart the rival attack, slamming three fours and three sixes for an unbeaten 20-ball 42 that was instrumental in helping DC record their second successive 200+ score.
With her partner going great guns, Rodrigues played sensibly and yet scored four fours for her unbeaten 22-ball 34 as she and Jonassen added 67 runs for the unconquered fifth wicket that helped DC set a daunting challenge for Warriorz.
BRIEF SCORE: Delhi Capitals 211/4 (Meg Lanning 70, Jess Jonassen 42*, Jemimah Rodrigues 34*; Shabnim Ismail 1/29) beat UP Warriorz 169/5 (Tahlia McGrath 90*, Alyssa Healy 24, Devika Vaidya 23; Jess Jonassen 3/43) by 42 runs