'It's a dream come true' - Saika Ishaque ecstatic on her incredible run in WPL 2023

Mumbai Indians won WPL 2023 by defeating Delhi Capitals in the final by seven wickets.

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Saika Ishaque
Saika Ishaque. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Mumbai Indians scripted history as they won the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League on Sunday, March 26 beating Delhi Capitals by seven wickets in the final. Mumbai chased down the target of 132 in 19.3 overs, courtesy of Nat Sciver-Brunt’s magnificent knock of 60* off 55 deliveries. The team led by Harmanpreet Kaur had several star performers who shone at different stages of the tournament to help Mumbai clinch the inaugural title.

One such star was the left-arm spinner, Saika Ishaque, who finished as the joint second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 15 scalps to her name. The 27-year-old was bought at her base price of INR 10 Lakh at the auction and has repaid the faith of the MI management with her stupendous performances throughout the tournament.

Talking about the secret behind her success in the tournament, Ishaque revealed that she didn’t change her plans much and was always looking to bowl dot balls.

“Not able to express it, it’s a dream come true, speechless. I didn’t change my plans much, just tried to bowl dot deliveries. I would like to thank all the fans, grateful for their support,” Ishaque said after the win.

Another player who played a crucial role in MI’s win was Yastika Bhatia. The wicketkeeper-batter scored 214 runs with the bat and also inflicted 13 dismissals donning the gloves behind the stumps (the most in the tournament). For her marvellous performance, she was also awarded Emerging Player of the season. Following Mumbai’s win, she also shared her elation and said that the team was pretty relaxed one day ahead of the final.

“I just can’t explain in words the amount of happiness I am getting right now. We were pretty relaxed yesterday, we just tried to focus on our plans on the field," Bhatia said.

Amelia Kerr was another player who shone throughout the tournament for Mumbai as she became the joint second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament (15 wickets) and also scored 149 runs with the bat at a strike rate of 133.03. She picked up 2/18 in the final and also played a vital cameo of 14* off eight balls to take MI home in the last-over thriller.

After the game ended, Kerr revealed her preparation behind finishing matches in such crunch situations.

Charlotte is a legend, she’s one of the best: Amelia Kerr

“Helps when you’re going out and Nat Sciver’s there to hit the winning runs. I guess you train for and work hard for those finishing moments. You just want to keep it simple and stick to your game plan. Nice when it comes off, it’s been an amazing win for an amazing franchise. You just get into a zone but in between the balls you hear the crowd and it’s great but you go back into the zone once the ball is bowled,” Kerr said.

She further praised MI head coach Charlotte Edwards and called her a legend of the game with a wealth of knowledge.

“Charlotte is a legend, she’s one of the best, got a wealth of knowledge. She’s taken teams to finals but to get a team over the line is pleasing to see," Kerr signed off.

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