Three-player battles to keep an eye on Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)’s WPL 2023 campaigns couldn’t have started differently. In the first match of the tournament, RCB lost by 60 runs to the Delhi Capitals (DC), whereas MI defeated the Gujarat Giants (GG) by a score of 143 runs.
The two teams are built differently because Mumbai relies on all-rounders and as much batting depth as possible while RCB prioritizes having quality batters in their top five. It will be interesting to see which of Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana’s world-class stars emerge victorious.
In light of this, let’s take a look at the three exciting contests in the game tonight:
In Mumbai’s opening match, Hayley Matthews was in the zone with a quick 47 off 31 balls. Matthews was able to give their innings some much-needed momentum with regular boundaries, despite a slow start.
To avoid a fast start from Mumbai, the RCB will need to stop Matthews early. Renuka Singh Thakur, their strike swing bowler, will need to step up for this reason. Hayley Matthews has scored only 15 runs from 18 balls off Thakur and has additionally been excused once.
Matthews will need to exercise some caution if Renuka receives some swing and seam movement from the new ball, as her wicket early on could be a significant setback for the Mumbai Indians.
Ellyse Perry is seemingly the main hitter for RCB in their center request. She showed glimpses of what she can do against DC, and she will want to score a lot against the Mumbai Indians and help her team win for the first time this season.
But it won’t be easy to play against the Mumbai spinners, especially Amelia Kerr, who spins with her wrists. In T20 cricket, the Kiwi leggie has defeated Perry, scoring just 42 runs in 50 balls and ejecting the Australian veteran three times.
The trans-Tasman rivalry has the potential to be yet another intriguing battle that will captivate followers.
One of the main reasons DC beat RCB convincingly was that they were able to get rid of captain Smriti Mandhana just as she appeared to be ready to take the game away from them.
As they have a weapon in Nat Sciver-Brunt, the Mumbai Indians will need to work on this. The England star demonstrated her proficiency with the new ball in the first match, and captain Harmanpreet Kaur would like her to score early against Mandhana.
In the T20Is, the southpaw has scored 79 runs off Sciver’s bowling in just 66 balls. The bowler, on the other hand, has also thrown out the Indian vice-captain four times. As a result, the battle should be fairly even.