SETH NOBES looks at the standout performers from the inaugural edition of the Women's Premier League
Mumbai Indians made history as the inaugural champions of the Women's Premier League, defeating Delhi Capitals by seven wickets.
The 2023 tournament had everything from blistering knocks and boundaries galore to five-fors and hat-tricks.
But who were the standout performers? Here is The Cricketer's team of the tournament...
Shafali Verma (Delhi Capitals)
9 matches, 252 runs, 31.50 average, 185.29 strike rate, HS 84
Verma's explosive batting from ball one gave the Delhi Capitals the fast start they needed in several important chases en route to the final. The India international also starred in the tournament's highest partnership, smashing ten fours and four sixes as she put on 162 with Meg Lanning against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Meg Lanning (Delhi Capitals)
9 matches, 345 runs, 49.28 average, 139.11 strike rate, HS 72
Lanning captained the Capitals to the final of the WPL but fell at the final hurdle, with her run out a major turning point in the match. The Australian began the tournament in fine form, posting back-to-back 70-plus knocks, and topped the run-scoring charts with 345 runs. Despite not being known for her explosivity, she posted a strike rate above 135.
Hayley Matthews was named player of the tournament [Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images]
Hayley Matthews (Mumbai Indians)
10 matches, 271 runs, 30.11 average, 126.04 strike rate, HS 77*, 16 wickets, 5.94 economy, best figures 3-5
An irreplaceable cog in the brutal Mumbai Indians' title-winning machine. Matthews starred with bat and ball, finishing in the top five for both runs and wickets. The West Indian saved one of her best performances for the final, taking 3 for 5 from four overs, and was deservedly crowned player of the tournament.
Nat Sciver-Brunt (Mumbai Indians)
10 matches, 332 runs, 66.40 average, 140.08 strike rate, HS 72*, 10 wickets, 7.12 economy, best figures 3-21
It's safe to say that many bowlers in the WPL will be glad to see the back of Sciver-Brunt given how difficult she was to dismiss. The England international scored 332 runs - second only to Lanning, picked up player of the match honours in the final after scoring a half-century, and saw her side home in four chases. Oh, and she also picked up 10 wickets.
Harmanpreet Kaur (Mumbai Indians)
10 matches, 281 runs, 50.33 average, 135.09 strike rate, HS 65
Mumbai Indians' first purchase in the auction, Kaur repaid their faith almost immediately with three fifties in her first four innings. The captain led from the front in the final, combining with Sciver-Brunt when her side were 23 for 2 and putting Mumbai Indians on course for the title with a knock of 37 (39).
Sophie Ecclestone took a tournament-leading 16 wickets [Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images]
Amelia Kerr (Mumbai Indians)
10 matches, 149 runs, 37.23 average, 133.03 strike rate, HS 45*, 15 wickets, 6.45 economy, best figures 3-22
Kerr played an important role in Mumbai's victory over Delhi Capitals in the final, conceding just 18 runs off her four overs and providing a useful cameo with the bat (14 not out off eight) to see them over the line. That performance was the icing on the cake for the New Zealand international, who excelled with the ball and batted explosively in the middle order throughout the tournament.
Yastika Bhatia (Mumbai Indians)
10 matches, 214 runs, 21.40 average, 112.04 strike rate, HS 44, 6 catches, 7 stumpings
Many title-winning sides have an unsung hero and Bhatia falls firmly into this category. The 22-year-old flashed her credentials as India's wicketkeeper for years to come and played some key innings with the bat, including three successive 40-plus scores as Mumbai Indians built a five-match unbeaten run at the beginning of the tournament.
Issy Wong (Mumbai Indians)
10 matches, 15 wickets, 6.46 economy, best figures 4-15
Growing up watching the IPL, Wong couldn't have dreamed of the role she would play in the inaugural WPL. She hit her first ball for six and wrote herself into the history books by taking the tournement's first hat-trick in the eliminator. Only Matthews and Sophie Ecclestone took more than her 15 wickets - a true superstar.
Saika Ishaque was an unsung star for Mumbai Indians [Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images]
Sophie Ecclestone (UP Warriorz)
9 matches, 16 wickets, 6.61 economy, best figures 4-13
Ecclestone is the best T20 bowler in the world, with her performance in the WPL proving this once again. She tied with Matthews at the top of the wicket-taking charts and was integral in the Warriorz' run to the eliminator. The spinner was at her best with bat and ball when the Warriorz' became the first side to defeat Mumbai Indians, taking 3 for 15 and scoring 16 not out.
Shikha Pandey (Delhi Capitals)
9 matches, 10 wickets, 6.59 economy, best figures 3-23
Pandey's consistency with the ball was a key element in the Capitals' successful group campaign. Her best game was the final, where she conceded just 23 runs off her four overs and scored 27 not out (17 balls) with the bat - a knock which set up a tricky chase for Mumbai Indians.
Saika Ishaque (Mumbai Indians)
10 matches, 15 wickets, 7 economy, best figures 4-11
One of only five players to bowl a maiden in the tournament, Ishaque was another unsung hero of the victorious Mumbai Indians side. She announced herself on the biggest stage immediately with four wickets against Gujarat Giants in the opener and continued to provide a wicket-taking option throughout the tournament.