Mumbai Indians Women vs UP Warriorz Women: Preview and Prediction
As we come to the business end of the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League, Mumbai Indians Women will rub shoulders with UP Warriorz in the Eliminator stage of the competition on Thursday. The event will be held at the D.Y. Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai.
The Mukesh Ambani-owned franchise was on the verge of getting directly qualified for the finals but Delhi Capitals’ win over the Warriorz in the last game of the group stages spoiled the party for the Mumbai Indians. Having won six matches, they finished the points table with 12 points from eight games.
The Harmanpret Kaur-led unit has been a dominating side in the cash-rich event with a plethora of all-rounders in their rank. Hayley Matthews, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Amelia Kerr, and Harmanpreet Kaur have been the showstopper for them.
Saika Ishaque was excellent with the ball in hand in the beginning but seems to have lost lustre halfway through the league. Local talents like Pooja Vastrakar, Amanjot Kaur, Jintimani Kalita and Humaira Kazi have been less exposed to tough situations and therefore will need to stamp with authority when the need arises.
Meanwhile, the UP Warriorz won four out of the eight matches they’ve been a part of and finished in third place in the points table with the same number of points. Their place was under scrutiny until their victory against the Giants in the 17th encounter of the competition. It sealed the deal for an eliminator spot.
There have been more individual performances on display for the Uttar Pradesh-based franchise rather than total team effort. Star-studded names such as Sophie Ecclestone, Grace Harris, Tahlia McGrath and skipper Alyssa Healy have been the prominent performers.
Deepti Sharma, Anjali Sarvani, and Rajeshwari Gayakwad have been at par with the ball in hand. Harris is likely to replace Proteas pacer Shabnim Ismail in the playing XI for the next match against MI.
What have they done so far?
The Mumbai-based franchise had a rollicking start to the glitterati league, winning five straight matches. They kicked off the competition by beating Gujarat Giants Women by a massive 143 runs margin. The only two sides to have defeated them are Delhi Capitals and the UP Warriorz. Yes, the same teams that qualified for the knockout stage.
On the other hand, the Alyssa Healy-led community have had a topsy-turvy run in the competition. They kickstarted with a close-fought victory against the Gujarat Giants followed by a thumping defeat against the Delhi Capitals. An amalgam of wins and losses followed and in the end, the Capri Golbal-owned franchise found them at the eliminator against MI. It was the trio of Tahlia McGrath, Grace Harris and Sophie Ecclestone that turned the tide in their favour from crunch situations during the late end of the tournament.
Head to Head Record
Both teams have met each other twice in the history of WPL and the equation lies in equilibrium. It was Mumbai Indians who won the first fixture against the UP Warriorz by 8 wickets. The latter did an act of revenge in the reverse fixture and chased down a target of 128 runs with five wickets and three balls remaining.
Hayley Matthews (Mumbai Indians Women): The Caribbean all-rounder has been one of the prime assets for the Mumbai-based franchise. She is the leading run-scorer for her team with 232 runs from eight innings. In addition, Matthews has scalped 12 wickets with her off-spin bowling.
The West Indies skipper has an attacking approach towards the bowlers and if she gets going, the opposition is likely to have a tough day in the office.
Sophie Ecclestone (UP Warriorz): The English woman had an upper hand in her side’s qualification. After finishing the chases against Mumbai and Gujarat, Ecclestone has been coined as the new finisher of the side by her teammates.
Not to discount, her abilities with the ball in hand. The no.1 ranked T20I bowler has bagged 14 wickets in 8 innings so far. There hasn’t been a single match in the tournament when she went wicketless.
Predicted Playing XI
Mumbai Indians Women: Yastika Bhatia, Hayley Matthews, Nat-Sciver Brunt, Harmanpreet Kaur ©, Amelia Kerr, Pooja Vastrakar, Amanjot Kaur, Issy Wong, Humaira Kazi, Jintimani Kalita, Saika Ishaque
UP Warriorz Women: Alyssa Healy ©, Shweta Sehrawat, Kiran Navgire, Tahlia McGrath, Grace Harris, Devika Vaidya, Deepti Sharma, Sophie Ecclestone, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Anjali Sarvani, Parshavi Chopra
The Mumbai Indians Women have displayed sheer domination throughout the tournament and will be the favourites to inch towards the finale. They also have a good blend of youth and experience who have gelled well for the franchise.
On the other hand, UP Warriorz have showcased individual brilliance more than team effort. But when Alyssa Healy is in the knockout stage, one cannot write off her team.