The third match of the ongoing Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2023 will see UP Warriorz (UPW) take on the Gujarat Giants (GG) at the DY Patil Sports Academy Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday, March 5.
While it will be a campaign opener for the UP franchise, a shot at redemption will be on the cards for Gujarat after a humiliation in their first game.
The pitch at the DY Patil Stadium proved to be a merry one for the batters on Saturday and it is expected to remain the same once again today. However, the MI bowlers showcased that if you bowl a tight lines and lengths, one could create enough pressure on the batters.
On that note, let’s take a look at the three possible bowlers who are expected to be amongst wickets in the clash between UPW and GG.
#3 Shabnim Ismail – UP Warriorz
South African legend Shabnim Ismail will be one of the key pacers for UPW in WPL 2023. The 34-year-old workhorse has picked up 123 wickets in 113 T20Is at an average of 18.62 and an economy rate of 5.77.
She has also played 127 ODIs in which he has picked up 191 wickets at an average of 19.95 and an economy rate of 3.70.
There have been few better pacers than Ismail in the history of women’s cricket. The UPW speedster will be determined to replicate what MI bowlers did to Gujarat batters in the tournament-opener.
#2 Ashleigh Gardner – Gujarat Giants
The joint-most expensive overseas purchase at the WPL 2023 auction (₹3.20 crore), Ashleigh Gardner will be one of the most crucial players for GG.
While the wily off-spinner didn’t have the best of games against MI (1 wickets for 38 runs in 4 overs), she has been in red-hot form of late.
Gardner was named the Player of the Tournament at the recently concluded ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa, where she bagged 10 wickets in six matches at an economy of 6.25.
Her best figures in the mega event were 5/12, highlighting that once she gets going, she can run through any batting lineup in the tournament.
#1 Sophie Ecclestone – UP Warriorz
England’s left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone could be the X-factor for UPW in the inaugural edition of the WPL. The top-ranked ICC Women’s bowler in ODIs and T20Is, Ecclestone has played 55 ODI and 70 T20Is, claiming 87 and 97 wickets, respectively.
Ecclestone even had a terrific recent Women’s T20 World Cup 2023, where she was the highest wicket-taker with 11 scalps at an immaculate average of under eight. The 23-year old will no doubt be once again amongst wickets on Sunday.