Jemimah Rodrigues is an entertainer. She knows how to turn up on a big stage. Delhi Capitals’ 29-run win over Mumbai Indians in its first-ever home fixture in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) saw the Mumbai-based batter at her explosive best, with a match-winning 33-ball 69 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday.

A 48-ball opening stand set the tone for Capitals, put in to bat on a slow surface. After promising starts, Shafali Verma and Alice Capsey fell in quick succession. After a cautious start, Meg Lanning slowly sunk her teeth into MI’s bowling attack.

Even a 132 kmph ripper from Shabnim Ismail couldn’t stop the Australian from cruising to a half-century. When she fell soon after, courtesy a brilliant catch by Amelia Kerr at deep mid-wicket, the onus fell on Jemimah’s shoulders.

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A rare off day with the ball didn’t help MI’s case, with Jemimah finding enough time to walk across the stumps most times and send the ball to the ropes. The over where she hit Nat Sciver-Brunt for a four and two sixes was particularly delightful and saw her fist-pumping her way up and down the field as her team’s score inflated.

With 192 on the board, Marizanne Kapp and Shikha Pandey cleaned up Yastika Bhatia and Harmanpreet Kaur. Jess Jonassen did not allow Hayley Matthews to capitalise on a botched catch by Taniya Bhatia behind the stumps, with some help from Capsey at mid-wicket.

Pooja Vastrakar and Amanjot Kaur’s 48-run stand gave MI hopes of a resurgence before the latter fell to Jonassen. Capitals fielded four pacers but it was the wily left-arm spin of Jonassen (3/21) that sealed the game in the host’s favour. Amanjot and S. Sajana’s death-over big-hitting was too little too late for the defending champion. 


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