Recent Match Report – MI Women vs DC Women 18th Match 2022/23

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

There is passion in everything Marizanne Kapp does on the cricket field. When she bats, you just can’t breathe easy until the moment she’s out. And when she bowls, she rushes in with a fierce look on her face, brows slightly furrowed, and gives her all, ball after ball. She is always in the captain’s ear or has a hand on a youth’s shoulder. She has put South Africa on the right side of a result many times, not least in the Women’s World Cup last year and the T20 World Cup last month.

But it took Kapp a while to reach this level in the Women’s Premier League. Only in her fourth game for Delhi Capitals did she show she had really put on weight, grabbing the first five-for of her T20 career to demolish Gujarat Giants.

Kapp has an economic rate of 5.29 in the power play in the WPL. It is second best to Nat Sciver-Brunt among bowlers who have bowled at least 50 balls in the first six overs. She has picked up eight wickets in this phase, the most of any bowler. Her total count of nine is third best by a sailor in the WPL behind Capitals teammate Shikha Pandey and Giants’ Kim Garth.

Monday saw another two wicket power play burst from Kapp, who was as disciplined and piercing as ever, piercing the Mumbai Indians and helping Capitals top the table with two games left in the league stage. It was Mumbai’s second straight loss in the WPL after five straight wins.

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.”

Marizanne Cap

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.

The past few years have put Kapp and her partner Dane van Niekerk through quite a test. While Kapp reached the pinnacle of success winning the Women’s Hundred twice, the Women’s Big Bash League once and being part of the first senior South African cricket team to ever play a World Cup final, her partner van Niekerk was snubbed by not one in two teams that initially appointed her as captain. The Oval Invincibles left her in 2022 and South Africa left her in 2023. All this led to her retiring from international cricket at the age of 29.

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