Women's Premier League

Gujarat Giants face UP Warriorz in Women’s Premier League with injury concerns

Gujarat Giants face UP Warriorz in Women's Premier League with injury concerns
Image: BCCI

Following a recent crushing defeat by the Mumbai Indians, the Gujarat Giants are set to return to the DY Patil Stadium hoping for a better outcome as they prepare to face off against the UP Warriorz in their first Women’s Premier League match. Unfortunately, the Giants are facing problems that go beyond the pitch.

In the days leading up to the tournament, the team made the decision to replace West Indies’ Deandra Dottin with Australia’s Kim Garth. The Giants cited Dottin’s “medical situation” as the reason for her replacement, but Dottin herself took to social media to assert that she was in good health. On top of this, during the team’s pursuit of a 208-run target against the Mumbai Indians, Giants’ captain Beth Mooney sustained a knee injury while running between the wickets in the first over and had to be assisted off the field.

The UP Warriorz, led by Alyssa Healy, are eager to start their Women’s Premier League campaign on a high note. With power hitters like Grace Harris and Kiran Navgire in their lineup, as well as strong bowlers such as Shabnim Ismail and Deepti Sharma, they are well-positioned for success.

Players to watch on the Warriorz team include Healy, Navgire, and Harris, who are expected to provide explosive performances with the bat, along with support from Tahlia McGrath, Deepti, and Devika Vaidya. Additionally, Shweta Sehrawat, a member of India’s U-19 World Cup-winning team, adds to the team’s firepower.

On the bowling front, Ismail, Lauren Bell, and Anjali Sarvani offer pace options, while Sophie Ecclestone and Rajeshwari Gayakwad round out the spin department alongside all-rounders.

The Gujarat Giants will be looking to bounce back from their defeat to Mumbai Indians, with left-arm spinner Tanuja Kanwar having shown some promise by conceding only 12 runs in two overs against Mumbai. Dayalan Hemalatha also showed potential with an unbeaten 29 off 23 balls, including two sixes and a four. With captain Beth Mooney’s availability in question due to a knee injury, more pressure will be on Hemalatha to support the team’s batting. Ashleigh Gardner, the player of the tournament in the recent Women’s T20 World Cup, also remains one to watch.

Possible playing XIs for the two teams are listed as follows:

UP Warriorz: Alyssa Healy, Shweta Sehrawat, Kiran Navgire, Tahlia McGrath, Grace Harris, Devika Vaidya, Deepti Sharma, Simran Shaikh, Shabnim Ismail, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Anjali Sarvani

Gujarat Giants: Sophia Dunkley/Beth Mooney, S Meghana, Harleen Deol, Ashleigh Gardner, Sushma Verma, Annabel Sutherland, Dayalan Hemalatha, Georgia Wareham, Sneh Rana, Tanuja Kanwar, Mansi Joshi

Trivia of note includes that Shweta Sehrawat was the top scorer at the inaugural Women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup, and only Dayalan Hemalatha and Monica Patel managed to reach double figures for the Gujarat Giants against Mumbai Indians.

Gujarat Giants vice-captain Sneh Rana spoke about leading the team in Mooney’s absence, saying, “It is an opportunity, but what I’ll want is that the team does not repeat their mistakes. I will tell the girls to keep their heads high and to learn from today. Definitely we will perform good.”

UP Warriorz captain Alyssa Healy is focused on winning, saying, “We have a good mix of experience and youth along with ability and look forward to putting on a show for our fans. We are here to win and be ruthless in our brand of cricket.”