capitals of delhi 142 for 5 (Lanning 39, Kapp 34*, Capsey 34) defeated UP Warriorz 138 for 6 (McGrath 58*, Capsey 3-26) for five wickets
Alice Capsey I couldn’t believe it. I had my hands on my face in disbelief as I ran towards meg lanning on deck. She had managed to lure Sophie Ecclestone, who was in the middle of each of the last two UP Warriorz wins, out of the crease of hers and then shot a leg down to stun her.
The spinners accounted for just 11 of the 39 wickets Delhi Capitals have picked up in the Women’s Premier League through Monday. Until then, they had used leg spinner Poonam Yadav, left arm spinner Radha Yadav and Jess Jonassen, and leg spinner Minnu Mani and Capsey in the competition, and both Mani and Poonam they went wicketless in all three overs they bowled.
On Tuesday, the Warriorz’s six wickets were taken by Capitals spinners and Capsey had the lion’s share of three. That effort -despite Tahlia McGrathThe Warriorz’ thumping help to rack up 33 in the last two overs meant Capitals restricted the target to an obtainable 139 and then went straight into the inaugural WPL final.
Last December, the near future looked bleak for Capsey after he broke his clavicle during England’s tour of the West Indies. She went touch-and-go for the T20 Women’s World Cup and just made the team. After a couple of explosive hits, including a half-century against Ireland, Capsey had a tough time at the tournament in South Africa. But the first two entries into that tournament combined with head coach Jonathan Batty’s presence in the Capitals’ coaching lineup meant she was picked at the auction.
“I’m quite disappointed to break my collarbone. However, I had that month off where the other girls didn’t necessarily have to get back into shape and develop my skills, which is a great opportunity to go to a World Cup.” Capsey said afterwards. her departure as player of the match. “With our England side, we have three world-class spinners. So I’m not needed, but (I’ve) definitely been learning from them, practicing at the nets, bowling our batsmen who are world-class like Nat Sciver-Brunt. It’s been nice coming into this competition and having that responsibility and having the ball thrown at me and it comes out.”
And she has changed it quite a bit in the WPL.
Lanning has been happy to call on the Capsey derivative for at least one over on the power play throughout the competition. But against the Warriorz, he brought it on by himself in the 10th. Part of the reason could be that the Warriorz removed lefty Devika Vaidya, who has been opening the batting for them, and brought in Shweta Sehrawat to partner Alyssa Healy up top.
When Capsey came in, Healy was poised and ready to change gear. She had contributed 32 of the 59 runs the Warriorz scored at the end of nine overs. She then saw a full ball out and tossed it across decks for four. But Capsey then anticipated that Healy would give her the charge and fired one full and out of her to hit and stun her.
In a lineup that did not feature Grace Harris that day, Healy’s firing at midfield was a huge blow. The Warriorz moved Kiran Navgire back in the order perhaps so she could rehearse the role Harris played: hitting the big shots in the second half. But Harris and Navgire are not exactly the same. Which meant Healy had to hit longer to give the Warriorz a solid platform.
Job done, Lanning took Capsey out of the attack and used Radha to finish Simran Shaikh and then Jonassen got past Navgire. McGrath was fighting a lone battle when Deepti Sharma came on 91-for-4 in the 15th.
A lefty up the middle and on cue, Lanning brought Capsey back at 16, who was gone by just two. Later, Capsey first stumped Deepti before tricking Ecclestone into making figures of 3-0-7-3. And so that giggle was perhaps justified. Capsey’s final over was for 19 as McGrath hit her with two fours and a six, but the damage was done.
The Capitals then went to a flyer in their run chase after Shafali Verma and Lanning added 56 for the opening wicket. But closers S Yashasri and Shabnim Ismail struck three times to reduce Capitals to 70 for 3. Enter our leading man Capsey.
She took on her England teammate Ecclestone to hit her with three fours in one over before going on a maximum tonking over Parshavi Chopra. That allowed Marizanne Kapp to gain time on a slower surface at Brabourne Stadium. Capsey scored 34 off 31 balls and was ultimately beaten by Ecclestone, leaving Capitals on the brink of victory. After starting aggressively, he toned down a bit and made sure Capitals had few hiccups. Her 60-run stand with Kapp helped end the chase after she was off balance when she entered.
“The way I play, it’s risk and reward. I’m a very aggressive bowler and I like to put pressure on the bowlers,” she said. “It’s not necessarily about making all fours and sixes, it’s about putting myself in a position to put the team in the best possible position quickly. I’ve been used in many different roles and I change my thinking when I come in.” It’s about increasing the percentage of times it comes out, which I’m learning.
“I’m learning how to develop tackles. An experience like this has been crucial. Being around Meg Lanning and people like that has been brilliant.”
At 18 years old and on her maiden voyage to India, Capsey is not only seizing the opportunities that come her way, but also making headlines in the process.