The inaugural Women’s Premier League kicked off yesterday, and as I type this the second of today’s matches is in progress. This is currently a five team franchise tournament, with expansion likely in the future. In this post I look at developments so far (unfortunately there has been no live radio commentary for me to listen to – men in fast cars are more important to five live sports extra than pioneering female cricketers, so all of this is second hand, by way of cricinfo and twitter).
GAME 1: MUMBAI INDIANS PUT DOWN A MARKER
The opening game of the tournament featured Mumbai Indians against Gujurat Giants. Mumbai Indians absolutely dominated the match, with Harmanpreet Kaur scoring the first 50 of the tournament and Amelia Kerr blazing her way to 45* in the closing stages of the innings. With over 200 to chase Gujurat Giants needed a good start with the bat and they actually had a catalogue of disasters, being 23-7 at low water mark, with Kerr having bowled a double wicket maiden along the way. They made a bit of a fight back, but the ninth wicket fell at 64, and the injured Beth Mooney did not resume her innings, so the match ended at that point. Mooney does not feature in the current match in which Gujurat Giants are playing Uttar Pradesh Warriorz (that ‘z’ is not a typo – they really spell the name this way).
GAME 2: DELHI CAPITALS DOMINATE
The first match of today featured Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Delhi posted a massive 223-2 with Meg Lanning and Shafali Verma both in top form. RCB could do no better than 163-8 in response. The only player from an Associate nation to be involved in the tournament, USian Tara Norris wrote her name into the record books as the taker of the first five wicket haul in the competition. The US has only produced one authentically great cricketer in the past, Bart King, the original ‘King of Swing’.
UTTAR PRADESH ENTER THE FRAY
Gujurat Giants had a fast start to their innings and have had a big finish, but they were a little slow in the middle, with the result that they have a good but by no means unassailable total. Sophie Ecclestone made her first mark on the tournament with 2-20 from her four overs.
I have a link to share before my usual sign off: Flight Free UK have a petition going on change.org calling on the BBC to stop awarding prizes that include flights. Please click here to sign and share the petition. Today’s photos were mostly taken in the course of a long walk this morning: