Warriorz vs Mumbai
We’re heading into the business end of the WPL, with four teams, including UP Warriorz, vying for two spots in the playoffs. Their opponents on Saturday, Mumbai Indians enter the game after securing their playoff berth with five wins on the trot and they are also the only undefeated side in the league.
Warriorz will be under scrutiny for the remaining three games. They are currently in third place with four points from five games and are behind Delhi Capitals who have eight points from six games. Alyssa Healy’s side has blown hot and cold so far, with the team relying heavily on captain and all-rounders Tahlia McGrath and Grace Harris – who all hit over 150 – in the at-bat. In the bowling department, Sophie Ecclestone and Deepti Sharma did most of the damage, taking 16 wickets in total. However, they hope that their third spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad will soon find her feet in the tournament. In the last two games they lost, Warriorz couldn’t defend the scores of 135 and 159. They need to be at their best against a side from Mumbai brimming with confidence.
Mumbai, on the other hand, could use this match to rotate the players and test their bench strength as the game is inconsistent in terms of the outcome. A possible change is that the South African all-rounder Chole Tryon takes the place of Amelia Kerr.
Players to watch
Saika Ishaque was phenomenal with her bowling for Mumbai and led the wicket charts with 12 scalps from five matches at an economy rate of 5.66.
Grace Harris batted 46 and an unbeaten 59 in the two innings she played, with an astonishing strike rate of 181.03. Warriorz should expect a similar knock from her on Saturday at DY Patil Stadium.
Mumbai Indians (possible): 1 Yastika Bhatia (wk), 2 Hayley Matthews, 3 Nat Sciver-Brunt, 4 Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), 5 Amelia Kerr/Chole Tryon, 6 Issy Wong, 7 Dhara Gujjar, 8 Humaria Kazi, 9 Amanjot Kaur , 10 Jintimani Kalita, 11 Saika Ishaque
UP Warriorz (possibly): 1 Alyssa Healy (Capt, wk), 2 Devika Vaidya, 3 Kiran Navgire, 4 Tahlia McGrath, 5 Grace Harris, 6 Simrah Shaikh, 7 Deepti Sharma, 8 Shweta Sehrawat, 9 Sophie Ecclestone, 10 Anjali Sarvani, 11 Rajeshwari Gayakwad
Statistics and tidbits
“We just try to be consistent. We have players who are taking wickets and scoring runs well. We just don’t want to be complacent. We are doing well, playing from the heart and enjoying it.”
Captain of the Mumbai Indians Harmanpreet Kaur after qualifying for the playoffs
Srinidhi Ramanujam is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo