Capitals of Delhi 110 for 1 (Capsey 38*, Shafali 33) trick Mumbai Indians 109 for 8 (Vastrakar 26, Kapp 2-13, Pandey 2-21, Jonassen 2-25) with nine wickets
In front of a crowd at DY Patil stadium decked out in blue, Kapp kicked off to Yastika Bhatia with three consecutive dots. On the third pitch, after the ball was pushed back to her, she passed the ball to halfway and ran to captain Meg Lanning to have a quiet word.
What the conversation was about is a mystery, as no immediate field changes followed. But as she started her second over, a deep back square leg was in place for Bhatia, instead of the fine leg in the gap. The short arrived. Or at least that’s what she wanted the batter to think. And it worked.
Bhatia was caught on the back foot by a ball that was thrown up and passed over her. It took her perimeter and landed safely in the wicket-keeper’s mitts.
Kapp was delighted. Lanning was delighted. Bhatia knew she had been outsmarted.
“The day I actually took my fiver [five-wicket haul] here, I was crying on the bus on the way here [DY Patil Stadium] because I knew Dane [van Niekerk] retired.”
Kapp then used the nip backer from a length to beat Nat Sciver-Brunt. She tossed it around and got it to move past Sciver-Brunt’s mow over the line to castrate her. A first-ball duck for the Mumbai all-rounder. Capitals had turned the ‘home team’ upside down early on.
Bhatia and Sciver-Brunt together accounted for nearly 39 per cent of Mumbai’s points scored in the league’s first six matches. In fact, about 84 percent of all runs in Mumbai before Monday were scored by their top four hitters. And in eight balls, Kapp had managed to see the backs of two of them. In addition, she had figures of 3-0-10-2 in the first six overs.
Kapp admitted it was “a struggle” to maintain her focus through it all, but she still managed to pull off one match-turning performance after another.
“The day I actually took my fiver [five-wicket haul] here, I was crying on the bus on the way here [DY Patil Stadium] because I knew Dane was retiring,” she told the press after her second Player-of-the-match award in the WPL. “It was tough, but again, I guess it’s my religion. Jesus Christ has been so good to me, especially during those difficult times. I must also mention my team. They make it so easy for me to be here.
“I’ve always been a very shy person, but I felt so comfortable with these girls and the management. I just fit in and they make me feel at home.”
On the same pitch she took the five wicket haul, Kapp may not have the number of wickets to show. But the impact of the two wickets she picked up beforehand was on par with, if not more than, those five against Giants. But as has been her nature – of rejecting praise directed at her at others – she spoke highly of Shikha Pandey’s penultimate one that went for only four with hard-hitting Issy Wong and Amanjot Kaur in the middle.
“Always nice to contribute, especially with the new ball. That’s my job,” Kapp said during the break in the broadcaster. “I told Shikha [Pandey] that was one of the best death overs I’ve seen in a long time. So all credit to the bowling attack.”
While Kapp, Pandey and Jess Jonassen took two wickets each to keep Mumbai at a paltry 109 for 8, it was clearly the Kapp showing at the start that set the tone for Capitals’ nine-wicket win.
S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo