Gujarat Giants endured a tough day as they lost to Mumbai Indians by 143 runs in the opening match of the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Saturday, March 4.

After Mumbai rode on captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s 30-ball 65 and Amelia Kerr’s unbeaten 45 off 24 balls to post a mammoth score of 207/5 in their 20 overs, the Giants’ batters had an off day as they could only manage 64/9 in 15.1 overs.

Earlier, Giants’ captain Beth Mooney won the toss and elected to field first. 

Openers Yastika Bhatia and Hayley Matthews got the Mumbai Indians off to a decent start as they added run-a-ball 15 before Giants’ left-arm spinner Tanuja Kanwer bagged the first-ever wicket of WPL by dismissing Bhatia for 1.

England’s accomplished all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt joined Matthews at the crease. The duo played some attacking cricket to put pressure back on the Giants’ bowling line-up. The two swashbuckling batters forged a 54-run partnership off just 38 balls to put Mumbai in a good position.

However, Australian leg-spinner Georgia Wareham later provided the much-needed breakthrough for the Giants as she removed Sciver-Brunt for an 18-ball 23.

Giants’ star all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner soon joined the party as she scalped her first WPL wicket by cleaning up dangerous-looking Matthews for a well-made 47 off 31 balls.

With the score reading 77/3 at the end of 10 overs, Mumbai captain Harmanpreet Kaur and New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr took up the mantle to rebuild the innings.

Kaur and Kerr established a brilliant 50-run stand off just 25 balls to completely change the momentum of the game.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai Indians skipper continued her impressive form to notch up the first WPL fifty from just 22 balls.

Giants’ vice-captain Sneh Rana later broke the 89-run fourth-wicket partnership as she picked the massive wicket of Kaur. The MI captain was dismissed for 65, laced with 14 fours.

Following Kaur’s dismissal, Pooja Vastrakar joined Kerr in the middle. The pair added quick-fire 35 runs before Vastrakar perished to Rana for 15.

Kerr (45) and Issy Wong (6) later remained unbeaten to power Mumbai to 207/5 in their allotted 20 overs.

Chasing 208, the Giants suffered an early blow as captain Mooney walked off the field after twisting her ankle while attempting to take a quick single.

Harleen Deol, who came into bat at number three, soon departed to right-arm pacer Sciver-Brunt for a duck.

The Giants later lost three more wickets in the powerplay as Gardner, Sabbhineni Meghana and Annabel Sutherland were dismissed cheaply.

The Harmanpreet-led Mumbai continued to pick wickets at regular intervals as they soon removed Wareham, Rana and Kanwer.

Reeling at 23/7, Dayalan Hemalatha (29 not out) and Mansi Joshi showed some resistance as they added 26 runs off 30 balls.

However, Joshi was later trapped in front of the stumps by left-arm spinner Saika Ishaque.

Tailender Monica Patel was the final wicket to fall as she departed for a 9-ball 10 as Mumbai secured a dominating victory.

Saika Ishaque was the standout bowler for Mumbai as she picked four wickets for 11 runs in her 3.1 overs.

The Giants will aim to bounce back quickly against the UP Warriorz at the DY Patil Stadium on Sunday, March 5. The match will start at 7:30 PM Indian Standard Time (IST).