Warriorz vs Mumbai
We are heading into the business end of the WPL, with four teams, including UP Warriorz, fighting for two spots in the playoffs. Their opponents on Saturday, Mumbai Indians, come into the match having secured their playoff berth with five wins on the trot and they are also the only unbeaten side in the competition.
Warriorz will be under the microscope for their remaining three matches. They are currently placed third on the table with four points from five games and sit behind Delhi Capitals, who are on eight points from six matches. Alyssa Healy’s side has blown hot and cold so far, with the team heavily relying on the captain, and allrounders Tahlia McGrath and Grace Harris – all of them striking over 150 – in the batting. In the bowling department, Sophie Ecclestone and Deepti Sharma have done the bulk of the damage, taking a total of 16 wickets between them. However, they would be hoping that their third spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad finds her feet soon in the tournament. In the last two games that they lost, Warriorz couldn’t defend scores of 135 and 159. Against a Mumbai side brimming with confidence, they need to be at their best.
Mumbai, on the other hand, could use this match to rotate the players and test their bench strength as the game is inconsequential in terms of the result. One possible change is the South African allrounder Chole Tryon coming in place of Amelia Kerr.
Players to watch
Saika Ishaque has been phenomenal with her bowling for Mumbai, leading the wicket-taking charts with 12 scalps from five matches at an economy rate of 5.66.
Grace Harris hit 46 and an unbeaten 59 in the two innings that she played, at a stunning strike rate of 181.03. Warriorz would expect a similar knock from her come 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 (possible): 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
Stats and trivia
Harmanpreet Kaur has hit three fifties in the WPL, the most for any player.
Issy Wong has the best economy rate of 5.18 in the tournament.
Only Ecclestone has conceded less than seven runs an over in Warriorz’s bowling attack.
“We’re just trying to be consistent. We’ve got players taking wickets and scoring runs well. We just don’t want to be complacent. We’re doing well, playing from the heart and enjoying ourselves.”
Mumbai Indians captain Harmanpreet Kaur after qualifying for the playoffs
Srinidhi Ramanujam is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo