TOSS: Beth Mooney opts to bowl first.
First innings: MI 207/5 after 20 overs
Second innings: GG 64/9 after 15.1 overs
MI won by 143 runs.
11.30 pm: That will be all for the blog. An electric first half to the night but a bit of a tame end to the contest. MI won’t mind it one bit, what a huge start for them. Harmanpreet Kaur led the way, and Saika Ishaque’s performance added the icing.
Harmanpreet Kaur, player of the match: Perfect start. It was a dream come true and everything went our way. We kept things simple, very clear. Told everyone to play their natural game, it was a big game but be in the moment and express yourselves. Just wanted to watch the ball and react, it went my way. We just want to keep going how we started, next games are important.
Post- match: The Gujarat Giants players (and even Nooshin) getting a big hug from Jhulan Goswami at the end of that match. They all need that. Sneh Rana has a quick chat afterward and says there is no update yet on Beth Mooney but adds she will be ready if she has to lead tomorrow evening.
GG 64/9 after 15.1 overs: And MI win by 143 runs! Saika Ishaque with her fourth wicket as Monica Patel is bowled. Patel b Ishaque 10 (9 balls)
GG 64/8 after 15 overs: A four for Monica now off Hayley Matthews bowling.
GG 56/8 after 14 overs: A lovely four by Monica Patel in that over. They have now crossed the infamous 49.
Oh wow, Harsha Bhogle just said at the WPL one of the reviews can be used to check wides or no balls. That is news I missed (and a good one!)
GG 49/8 after 13 overs: WICKET! Great review that. Good to spot that it was pad first. Joshi lbw b Ishaque 6 (19 balls)
GG 49/7 after 12 overs: Jintimani Kalita’s action is just lovely. Neat run-up, easy delivery. Good lines. There is plenty to work with there, easy to see why the MI think-tank is excited.
GG 44/7 after 11 overs: Hemalatha with a lovely shot down the ground for six. She is turning out to be a sole bright spot.
Hashtag RCB watch.
GG 36/7 after 10 overs: Hemalatha takes on Kerr and hits a six and four. Some much needed runs for the Giants. Any reduction in quantum of defeat is useful. Mansi is the new batter.
Time for timeout.
GG 24/7 after 9 overs: Vastrakar with a tidy start.
GG 23/7 after 8 overs: Double-wicket maiden from Kerr. Wow.
GG 23/7 after 7.4 overs: WICKET! This is a procession. A massive defeat is on the cards for Giants. Lobbed to NSB at cover and it is another googly. Kanwar c Nat Sciver-Brunt b Kerr 0 (3 balls)
GG 23/6 after 7.1 overs: WICKET! Kerr strikes first ball, and it is a delightful googly. Rana reviews it but it is clipping the stumps. Rana lbw b Kerr 1 (2 balls)
GG 22/5 after 6.5 overs: WICKET! Saika is impressing alright. Tight lines from the left-arm spinner and she gets one in through the gate. Wareham b Ishaque 8 (11 balls)
Jinitimani Kalita, who has come in for a lot of praise from the MI management already, has been a livewire on the field.
GG 18/4 after 6 overs: What a powerplay for MI. A fine over from Wong to finish it. Just two off it.
GG 16/4 after 5 overs: Wareham hits the four of the innings.
GG 12/4 after 4.4 overs: WICKET! Oh dear. Sutherland gets a life with a dropped catch but soon after she goes for a sweep and is bowled. Great moment for the left-arm spinner Ishaque. Sutherland b Ishaque 6 (14b
Sutherland and Hemalatha have a huge task facing them.
GG 11/3 after 4 overs: And Wong continues to impress, with her length and getting movement too with the new ball. Such a lovely action too.
GG 5/3 after 2.3 overs: And the procession continues. NSB brings one back, Meghana plays all around it. Meghana b Nat Sciver-Brunt 2 (4 balls)
GG 4/2 after 2 overs: And it gets worse! Huge wicket and nearly halfway there MI, I’d say. After a super quick delivery, a length ball gets the outside edge and it’s a stunning catch at slip by Matthews. Gardner c Matthews b Wong 0 (1 balls)
Gardner in early and she needs to play a blinder.
GG 1/1 after 1 over: A nightmare start for GG. First Mooney walks off after seemingly jarring her knee. And later in the over, Harleen Deol is caught at deep third. Sciver-Brunt strikes early. Deol c Wong b Nat Sciver-Brunt 0 (2 balls)
Beth Mooney and S Meghana int he middle. If Giants chase this, it will be quite something
MI 207/5 after 20 overs: What a start. The bowlers struggled, the fielding was off the mark but that was some sensational ball-striking. Kerr starts the final over with a six, and MI fan Wong finishes it off in style too.
MI 192/4 after 19 overs: Vastrakar hits three fours in the Gardner over. Going hard down the ground.
MI 177/4 after 18 overs: Kerr carrying on from Kaur. Two fours in that Sutherland over.
MI 166/4 after 17 overs: WICKET! End of a sensational innings. Harmanpreet Kaur has lit it up, folks, Fourteen fours in her knock. And she walks off with a smile, as Rana smiles too after a breakthrough. Hit another brilliant four in that over too over extra cover. Kaur c Hemalatha b Rana 65 (30 balls)
MI 159/3 after 16 overs: KAUR, KAUR! This is incredible. She has just gone on a sequence of SEVEN STRAIGHT FOURS over two overs. She is not overhitting anything, just timing like a dream. Gardner’s over goes for 14.
MI 145/3 after 15 overs: KAUR! WHAT AN EXHIBITION! Three gorgeous fours on the off side.
MI 124/3 after 14 overs: Kerr is also a brilliant player of the sweep of the shot, two fours for her in the Rana over. The second one, another misfield at the boundary line. This one by Joshi. MI on the charge.
MI 113/3 after 13 overs: Harmanrpeet Kaur picking up from where she (heartbreakingly) left off in South Africa. Two more fours in that Sutherland over.
MI 103/3 after 12 overs: Sweeps galore. Two from Harman, one from Kerr. Wareham goes for plenty. And Harman again shows her range with the sweep.
Just wanted to start off with speaking about your sweep shot. Has that always been your go-to shot? (from our interview)
Actually, I developed it over the years. When I used to play with boys early in my career, the ball used to come at me fast. And then when I started playing with girls, the speed went a little slower, and then sweep became my go-to shot. I could connect all the balls. Suddenly my game-plan changed.
Nowadays, whenever I play the sweep shot, I am more comfortable actually. When I am bowling and somebody is sweeping all the time, it is so difficult to bowl. That is something that I picked up, whichever batter uses the crease and is moving a lot, that can trouble you while bowling. Those things are in my mind when I am batting too.
MI 87/3 after 11 overs: Harmanpreet with back-to-back fours as Sneh Rana comes into the attack (rather late). The second was a lovely shot through cover
MI 77/3 after 10 overs: WICKET! Big one for GG. Gardner brought back into the attack and she was hit through point for one lovely four but cant repeat it. End of a fine innings from the WI captain. Matthews b Gardner 47 (31 balls)
Harmanpreet Kaur joins Hayley Matthews
MI 69/2 after 8.5 overs: WICKET! Wareham strikes. Another six in that over for Matthews but after the strike is rotated, NSB is out caught at mid-off. Aggression from the MI batters evident though. Sciver-Brunt c Rana b Wareham 23 (18 balls)
MI 61/1 after 8 overs: Any new Mumbai Indians fans tonight will be delighted that Nat Sciver-Brunt plays for them. And actually, Hayley too. Two sixes in the Sutherland over, both sensational shots. First a flick behind square leg then over midwicket. Uff!
MI 44/1 after 6 overs: After a slow start, that’s a good powerplay for MI. A signature extra cover drive by Matthews for four and a sweep by NSB for four off Kanwer’s bowling.
MI 35/1 after 5 overs: Oh, that’s a big over for MI. Monica Patel, left-arm pacer, struggles with her line, strayin on the leg side for Sciver-Brunt. Put away for two fours, not great fielding at the end of that over by Meghana.
MI 22/1 after 4 overs: One short ball in that over that Sciver-Brunt was quick to pounce on for a four. This is still a fine start though for GG, not letting MI get away.
Lots of responsibilities on Sciver-Brunt’s able shoulders.
MI 17/1 after 3 overs: Correction.
MI 17/1 after 3 overs: WICKET! Tanuja Kanwar, the player of the match for Railways in the Senior One Day Trophy in the final, is the first-wicket taker of WPL. Bhatia never got going and she lobs one to point. Bhatia c Wareham b Kanwar 1 (8 balls)
MI 14/0 after 2 overs: A terrific six from Matthews for the first of the tournament as he plays the most Windies shot possible. Joshi dropped short. A four o follow. But Bhatia, not the fastest of starters, is struggling to get going at the moment.
MI 2/0 after 1 over: Ash Gardner starts off with three dot balls. A single each for Bhatia and Matthews after that.
National anthem done. With Harsha Bhogle getting us underway, we are minutes away from the first ball
The first Playing XIs:
Mumbai Indians: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Yastika Bhatia, Natalie Sciver-Brunt, Hayley Mathews, Amelia Kerr, Amanjot Kaur, Pooja Vastrakar, Issy Wong, Humaira Kaazi, Jintimani Kalita, Saika Ishaque.
Gujarat Giants: Beth Mooney (C), S Meghana, Harleen Deol, Ashleigh Gardner, Annabel Sutherland, Hemalatha D, Georgia Wareham, Sneh Rana, Tanuja Kanwer, Monica Patel, Mansi Joshi
TOSS: Beth Mooney wins the toss and Gujarat Giants will be bowling first. Harmanpreet Kaur and Co will have a go with the bat in their home city.
MVP: Nat Sciver-Brunt
MVP: Ash Gardner
7.22 pm: Ananya Upendran and WV Raman spoke to Scroll for this preview. Do read.
07.19 pm: As WPL kicks off at DY Patil Stadium, the venue where the first IPL final happened and Shane Warne-led RR to the title, on the day we are remembering one year of Shane Warne’s passing.
07.13 pm: The opening ceremony is done and the trophy has been unveiled by the five captains.
07.05 pm: Once the match begins, the attention will be on the players in the middle. But the opening match of the inaugural Women’s Premier League will also see Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami line-up their teams against each others as mentors. Fitting, that the two stalwarts will be involved the day this starts.
Speaking of stalwarts, a special word to Sidhanta Patnaik, a journalist and author, who is not with us anymore. Scroll has been fortunate to carry some of his work through the Equal Hue report and his book, Fire Burns Blue.
07.00 pm: And so that day is finally here. The Women’s Premier League gets underay in Mumbai. A franchise-based T20 league in India has been long overdue (some might say better later than over, but we shouldn’t quite ignore the late part). Tonight, a five-team, 22-match tournament kicks off that has the potential to change the game. In some ways, it already has.
Of course there is no guarantee that this will somehow magically transform India’s fortunes at the international level, but this is a start... it gives a platform, a grand one at that. And beyond international cricket, this tournament will change lives of many an aspiring cricketer in India.
Enough has been written these last few days about the impact the league can have, but importantly, the action promises to be of high quality between five good teams.
The cricket, ultimately, will speak for itself. And we can’t wait to see how it all unfolds on the field.
In an interview with Scroll last year, this is what New Zealand captain Sophie Devine had said:
From an outsider’s perspective, it certainly is the next step to me. And you know, sounds like there’s some really encouraging move towards hopefully a women’s IPL next year. Yeah, I echo Alyssa’s comments that as soon as that tournament happens, I’m going to be scared about what’s coming out of India.
We’ve already seen the likes of Smriti Mandhana, some of these young players coming through, obviously Shafali Verma as well... there’s so much talent there. And the more exposure that they get to overseas players, again, playing more cricket at a higher standard, that their game is just going to go up.