The league stage of the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League is done and dusted now it all comes to the three teams fighting it out for the silverware. In the Eliminator, Mumbai Indians will face UP Warriorz at the Dr. D.Y. Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai on Friday, March 24. The winner of this match will proceed to play the final while the losing team will be officially out of the tournament. In their last match, UP Warriorz registered a famous win over Mumbai Indians.

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Mumbai Indians finished second in the five-team table behind Delhi Capitals after defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last group-stage game to momentarily gain the top spot in the league table. During the initial phase of the tournament, MI was an unstoppable and undefeated unit, claiming five successive wins. They were flying before two successive defeats saw them get scathed as they settled for second place. The first of the two defeats came against their Eliminator opponent- UP Warriorz as they snapped the formidable Mumbai Indians’ winning run in the Women’s Premier League with a five-wicket victory. Their next loss came against the Delhi Capitals, a team that is already through to the final.

Batters Need to Step up for MI

One of the major reasons behind those two successive losses was the way Mumbai batters fared.  Mumbai’s batting has had a tough run in the past three games, and if they want to claim the final spot then the batters must deliver. Mumbai bats deep, and even the likes of Pooja Vastrakar and Issy Wong can hit a few out of the middle. But having said that the star-studded top order must deliver in the big game. Bowlers have been doing their job brilliantly, the likes 

Saika Ishaque, Hayley Matthews, and Amelia Kerr have been the showstoppers for them with the ball in hand. In this listicle, we look at some of the important players of the MI team who can make a difference in the game. 

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3) Hayley Matthews

WPL 2023 Eliminator: 3 Players Who will be Crucial For Mumbai Indians Women To Win MI-W vs UP-W Match

The Caribbean all-rounder has been one of the key figures of the Mumbai setup. Opening the batting, Matthews provides power and stability at the top, which is why she is the leading run-scorer for her team with 232 runs from eight innings. What makes her even more special and valuable is her contribution to the ball.

With the ball in hand, Matthews has bagged 12 wickets at an economy of 6.51 and has been a consistent wicket-taking contributor to the team. The off-spinning all-rounder is a naturally aggressive player and if she gets going, the opposition bowlers are likely to have a tough day in the middle.

2) Saika Ishaque

WPL 2023 Eliminator: 3 Players Who will be Crucial For Mumbai Indians Women To Win MI-W vs UP-W Match

The left-arm spinner from South Kolkata- Saika Ishaque has definitely been the find of the tournament. Presently placed at the third spot in the list, Saika has scalped 13 wickets across 8 innings so far, at a strike rate and economy rate of 13.0 and 6.81 runs per Over respectively which makes her the joint second-highest wicket-taker in the ongoing WPL with teammate Amelia Kerr.

Her contribution has been vital in MI’s journey toward sealing the playoff spot. The last few games have been tough for her but she could compensate well by performing for her team in a must-win encounter.

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1) Amelia Kerr

WPL 2023 Eliminator: 3 Players Who will be Crucial For Mumbai Indians Women To Win MI-W vs UP-W Match

The leg-spinning all-rounder won the player of the match award in her last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Her all-around brilliance steered Mumbai home in their last league game against RCB where she picked up 3 wickets and scored an unbeaten 31* runs. With 13 wickets, Kerr is the joint second-highest wicket-taker this season.

The leg-break bowler has been able to make an impact with the ball. She’s been one of the most difficult bowlers to face in the competition. Against a formidable Warriorz batting line-up, Kerr’s skills will be tested. Going by the numbers, it seems like Kerr enjoys playing against the UP Warriorz. In the group stage, she recorded figures of 2-33 and 2-22 in the clashes against the Warriorz. If she can replicate the same in the eliminator, Mumbai will fancy their chances of playing the final.  

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