Crescent Kashmir

‘Didn’t control the last 12 balls’ – MI coach Edwards

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Mumbai Indians head coach Charlotte Edwards believes that her side lost the Eliminator in “the last 12 balls” and not controlling that period of play cost them a spot in the final of the Women’s Premier League.

“We have seen on this pitch that you need to stay in there. We’d have taken 135 at the start of the game with the short boundary on that side. I felt for the 38 overs of the game we controlled it, we just didn’t control the last 12 balls of the game and ultimately that cost us a finals’ spot,” Edwards said.

“We will have to go away and look at… got to give credit to RCB because they fought back and never gave up. The game is won or lost by small margins sometimes; if Harman hits that for six it is our game. Unfortunately, it was not to be tonight. It’s bitterly disappointing, and harder for the players. They are going to relive those moments for a number of years. I am just disappointed because we played well. We responded well from the other day and played good cricket for 38 overs and probably let ourselves down in 12 balls.”

Addressing concerns about the lower-order batting, Edwards said, “They have all had opportunities throughout the season. Sajana opened the batting the other day. So they are not short of batting practice. They have all had some time out in the middle. That is not the reason we lost today. Again, we didn’t play the final 12 balls as well as we should have. I am proud of the team, we fought back pretty well with the ball and were in control with the bat. Game of small margins and unfortunately we have missed out.

“For some of these players, we quite quickly forget that somelike like Sajana has only played domestic cricket. This is the biggest stage these players play on. This is the WPL semi-final. Pressure does take a toll, and that’s why you want your top players there at the end of the game. It was not to be today. The players will be better for this experience but it is not easy because we have lost a game we should have won. The players in the dressing room are hurting now but will definitely learn from this and be stronger.”

Edwards reckoned that “Harman’s wicket” was the turning point of the closely-contested match.

“You could see the lift it gave the RCB. Equally we would back Harman to take that shot on. If it goes for six, we need 12 in the last two and we are in the driver’s seat. I thought it had gone for six when she had hit it. Small margins, we can pick and poke a lot of situations from the game today, but ultimately, we were in control and we let it slip.

“You’ve just got to back the player to do what they think is the best in that situation. Who am I to tell Harmanpreet Kaur what’s the right thing to do when she has performed the way she has in this tournament. At that point that’s her shot, that’s her strength. If she hits that six, we’d be sitting on our seats…dd but still with 16 needed off two overs, we should still win that game. It was a pivotal moment in the game.”

Describing Harman’s demeanour post the loss, Edwards said, “She is very calm. She is very quiet. She doesn’t say too much. But when she does speak it is very much worth listening to. That’s why I love working with her. She is very good around the players and is very sad that our tournament has ended today the way it has. You can kind of cope with it when you have not played very well. But I think we played well today, we put a lot of things right from the other day. But it wasn’t quite good enough, and that’s the end of our tournament.”

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