The first week of the second edition of the Women’s Premier League started with a bang, serving thrillers right away in the first two games.

There was the expected dominance of well-rounded sides like Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals and a kind of resurgence from a re-worked Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, familiar problems plagued Gujarat Giants and UP Warriorz.

With plenty of action still left to pan out in the league, there can be a turnaround in the fortunes of all five teams.

Here’s a look at the takeaways from the first week of the WPL:

Ismail, Kapp light it up

The South African pace-bowling duo of Shabnim Ismail and Marizanne Kapp may not bowl together anymore internationally, but they are bringing on the heat at the Women’s Premier League. Even if they may be opening the bowling for different teams, they have ensured people reminisce their presence together for South Africa.

Ismail (3/18) spearheaded Mumbai Indians’ bowling attack against Gujarat Giants in the powerplay phase. Both Veda Krishnamurthy and Harleen Deol perished to deliveries which swung back into them with considerable pace. Later, she got rid of captain Beth Mooney to take her third wicket of the day.

Meanwhile, Kapp played a significant role in Delhi Capitals’ first win of the season. After electing to bowl first against UP Warriorz, she bowled a magnificent spell to set the tone. She picked up three wickets and conceded only five runs in the four overs she bowled up front. Dismissing the destructive Alyssa Healy, Vrinda Dinesh and Tahlia McGrath, Kapp had reduced Warriorz to 16/3 in 4.6 overs to give her team a good headstart.

Captain Kaur leads from the front

Harmanpreet Kaur has been in fine touch at the Women’s Premier League. In the two matches she played for Mumbai Indians, she has led from the front with the bat. She scored a 55 against Delhi Capitals in their opening game and topped it up with an unbeaten 46 in the game against Gujarat Giants.

Both the knocks came during a chase and Kaur looked in total control throughout. She consistently found boundaries and varied strikes against the Capitals, even after opener Yastika Bhatia holed out. She reached a 32-ball fifty after smashing a huge six over long on. Mumbai's chase waned following her dismissal, but S Sajana succeeded in a thrilling final ball win.

Meanwhile, she frequently used her paddle sweeps and reverse sweeps to move the ball around during the game against the Giants. She partnered with Amelia Kerr to blunt the chase and after Kerr and Pooja Vastrakar’s dismissal, comfortably took the team to the finish line.

Captain Kaur is building quite the reputation as a chaser in the WPL.

Gujarat Giants’ struggle continues

Much like last season, Gujarat Giants haven’t been able to catch a break. It is still early days in the new edition but in the two games they have played so far, Giants have looked rather clueless. They finished with the wooden spoon last year and the pressure to do well this time around must weigh heavy.

Last season, they were grasping at straws with their captain Beth Mooney ruled out for the season and Sneh Rana having to step up as interim captain. It seems like this time around, even though they overhauled their team at the auction, the Gujarat-based franchise have not been able to sort their Best XI.

In both the games, they were thoroughly outplayed by both Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. In both matches, they failed to put up a threatening total. With the below-par batting performance, they will be tempted to bring in Laura Wolvaardt to open alongside Mooney. However, it does not look like the problems will end with that for the Giants.

League table after the match on February 29 (Courtesy: