Mumbai Indians takes on UP Warriorz in Match 10 of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) at the Brabourne Stadium here on Sunday.
While UP stands third on the points table with four points, Harmanpreet Kaur’s Mumbai has gone unscathed in the tournament, winning all its matches.
UP Warriorz, led by Alyssa Healy, started off on a high but had to fiddle with the pieces to get the puzzle right after going down in its second match.
Warriorz’ season-opener against Gujarat Giants saw pacer Kim Garth take a five-wicket haul and dismiss UP’s top-order. While most players, including the likes of Healy and Tahlia McGrath, fell early, India International Kiran Navgire showcased her power-hitting abilities with a half-century before succumbing to a short delivery from Garth.
Navgire’s assured innings was bettered by some late flair from Grace Harris, who stunned the crowd and her opponents with an unbeaten 26-ball 59 to steal a three-wicket win in UP’s favour.
The next fixture against Delhi Capitals did not see similar success with UP falling to a 42-run loss against Meg Lanning’s side. More players in the team chipped in but to no avail. However, UP would’ve grown in confidence with McGrath scoring a stellar 50-ball 90.
Against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last match, with just 139 to chase on a batter-friendly track, openers Healy (96 off 47) and Devika Vaidya (36 off 31) didn’t ruffle any feathers as they finished the job for the team.
While UP goes into the next match with a win in the bag, it would want to see its Indian players Deepti Sharma and Shweta Sherawat contribute with the bat and put up performances similar to the ones they are known for.
All bases covered
Contributing with the bat, however, hasn’t been an issue for Mumbai Indians. The Harmanpreet-led side won its first match against the Giants by 143 runs. Harmanpreet led from the front with a 65 and following suit with 40-plus scores were Amelia Kerr and Hayley Matthews.
The next match against RCB turned out to be a walk in the park again as they chased down 155 in 14.4 overs with nine wickets to spare. Nat Sciver-Brunt was among the runs as well; coming at number three and scoring a scintillating half-century while opener Matthews made 77.
While the Mumbai camp has enjoyed a largely unobstructed walk to the top, Sophie Ecclestone and now Deepti’s success with the ball in the middle-overs might prove to be an interesting challenge in this fixture.
Deepti finding form in Warriorz’ last match against RCB ensures support for a consistent Ecclestone going forward in the tournament.
Mumbai has a trump card in the form of off-spinner Saika Ishaque, the Purple Cap holder. With nine wickets to her name so far, she gives Harmanpreet a potent Indian spin option when the other wickets have come largely from overseas recruits.
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