MI vs UPW, WPL 2023: 3-player battles to watch out for

The high-flying Mumbai Indians (MI) will play their 2023 Women’s Premier League (WPL) afternoon opener against UP Warriorz (UPW) at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Saturday.

Mumbai have won all five of their games so far and with a healthy net run rate, it can be argued that a win against UPW would all but seal the top spot and their place in the final.

UPW, on the other hand, have lost two matches in a row and need to make sure they don’t lose another as it would give Gujarat Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore a nose for finishing in third place.

MI had comfortably won the reverse fixture by eight wickets and there were certain clashes that could play a part again in the next match. Along those lines, let’s take a look at three of these matchups in WPL 2023 Match 17:

#3 Yastika Bhatia vs. Sophie Ecclestone

Yastika Bhatia continues to provide an excellent start to the Mumbai Indians by scoring 42 runs in just 27 balls against UP Warriorz 🔥 Now he is proving he is worth his high price ✨ https://t.co/IxR21EPLPV

Yastika Bhatia has been under the scanner for its unemployment rate in T20Is for India. However, the lefty has shown in WPL 2023 thus far that given a clear role in the team, she can deliver with consistency.

In five games, Bhatia has scored 151 runs and has given MI a solid start on almost every occasion. However, she has been dismissed three times for left-arm spin, which is a bit unusual because as she is left-handed, she should imagine dominating this particular group of bowlers.

UPW arguably have the best spinner in women’s cricket right now in Sophie Ecclestone and they will probably know about Bhatia’s layoffs to the left-arm spin. Since Hayley Matthews hasn’t been fired from the previous two games, UPW will know that sending Bhatia out early will be a huge blow to MI.

#2 Tahlia Mcgrath vs. Amelia Kerr

Tahlia McGrath she has already played some wonderful hits in WPL 2023, proving why she is the number 1 ranked T20I batsman in women’s cricket. She has great memories of playing MI, as she scored a half century in WPL 2023 match 10 at Brabourne (CCI).

Although she was sacked at the wrong time, costing UPW 15–20 runs, McGrath dominated the MI bowlers during her time at the crease. Mumbai has a matchup for the star batsman in the form of Amelia Kerr.

Kerr has given up 33 runs on the 33 balls she has bowled to McGrath and has fired her three times. Although the Kiwi spinner has been a bit costly at times, her wicket-taking ability will be crucial against the likes of McGrath.

#1 Alyssa Healy vs. Hayley Matthews

If not with a bat then definitely with a bowl Hayley Matthews 🔥 is truly the MVP…..#Wpl https://t.co/x8WlJLccgV

Aside from being an explosive hitter, hayley matthews he has been a sensational bowler for MI this season. She is the second-highest wicket-taker in the WPL so far, with a staggering 10 wickets in five games.

UPW pattern alyssa healy he’s had a mixed tournament so far, with a couple of fantastic shots and some flops as well. She scored a few runs against Matthews in the previous match between the two teams, but she was also ruled out twice by Matthews in T20s.

With the West Indies captain likely to be back on the power play, this is an interesting matchup to look forward to.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava

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