Friday, July 12

10 Unforgettable Moments From TATA WPL 2023 That Made it Amazing!

Relive the most unforgettable moments of the inaugural Women's Premier League season! WPL 2023!

The inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) in 2023 was a revelation, smashing records and igniting a new era for women’s cricket in India. From fierce rivalries to individual brilliance, the tournament delivered moments that etched themselves into our memories. As we gear up for WPL 2024, let’s reminisce about 10 unforgettable moments that set the stage for an even more thrilling season.

Best Moments from WPL 2023

1. Grace Harris’ Comeback Heroics: From Despair to Victory

1. Grace Harris' Comeback Heroics: From Despair to Victory

The third match of the WPL 2023 witnessed a dramatic rollercoaster ride, with Grace Harris single-handedly saving the day for UP Warriorz. Batting first, Sneh Rana-led Gujarat Giants posted a competitive 169 runs, putting early pressure on the Warriorz.

The Warriorz’ chase started disastrously, losing both openers cheaply. While Kiran Navgire’s gritty 53 offered some hope, the dismissals of Tahlia McGrath and Deepti Sharma pushed them further into the mire. With the score at 105/7 in the 16th over, defeat seemed imminent.

Enter Grace Harris, the Australian powerhouse known for her aggressive batting. What followed was an innings for the ages, a display of breathtaking power and unwavering determination. She launched into a six-hitting spree, smashing nine maximums in her whirlwind knock of 59* off just 26 deliveries.

Each boundary brought the momentum back in UP’s favor, silencing the Gujarat crowd and electrifying the Warriorz’ dugout. Her calculated yet fierce hitting targeted every part of the ground, leaving the bowlers helpless. By the time Harris finished her assault, the equation had shrunk to a manageable 4 runs needed off the last ball. The Warriorz completed the chase with ease, securing a thrilling victory from the jaws of defeat.

Harris’ innings wasn’t just about numbers; it was about resilience, belief, and sheer brilliance. It sent a message to the entire tournament that no score was safe, and any team could snatch victory from the clutches of defeat. This comeback win, spearheaded by Harris’ heroics, remains etched in the hearts of WPL fans as a testament to the power of individual brilliance and the unpredictability of T20 cricket.

2. Tara Norris and her Five-Wicket Haul

2. Tara Norris and her Five-Wicket Haul WPL 2023

The Women’s Premier League witnessed history in the making right from its second match, thanks to the young American pacer, Tara Norris. Signed by Delhi Capitals for a base price of INR 10 lakh, Norris arrived with much anticipation, and she didn’t disappoint. Facing formidable Royal Challengers Bangalore, she not only proved her worth but etched her name in the WPL record books.

Delhi Capitals had posted a daunting 224 runs on the board, putting pressure on the RCB chase. However, Tara Norris had other plans. Stepping onto the field, she unleashed a magnificent spell that dismantled the RCB batting line-up. Her fiery pace, accurate deliveries, and strategic variations proved too much to handle for the seasoned batters.

Norris became the first bowler in WPL history to claim a five-wicket haul, bagging crucial wickets like Smriti Mandhana, Richa Ghosh, and Heather Knight. Her figures of 5/29 were not just economical but incredibly impactful, restricting RCB to a mere 164 runs and securing a dominant victory for Delhi Capitals.

This wasn’t just an individual accomplishment for Norris; it was a moment of pride for American cricket and a testament to the global talent emerging in the sport. Her remarkable debut performance not only propelled Delhi Capitals to victory but also served as a reminder of the rising talent waiting to be discovered in international cricket. Tara Norris’ five-wicket haul wasn’t just a statistical feat; it was a declaration of arrival, an inspiration for young players worldwide, and a glimpse into the bright future of women’s cricket.

3. Harmanpreet Kaur’s Blazing 65 Sets the Stage

3. Harmanpreet Kaur's Blazing 65 Sets the Stage

The inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) demanded a grand opening, and Harmanpreet Kaur delivered it in style. Facing the Gujarat Giants in the tournament’s first match, the Indian skipper didn’t just bat – she set the stage ablaze with a scorching 65 off just 30 balls, etching her name in WPL history.

From the moment she stepped onto the field, Harmanpreet exuded intent. Facing the young Monica Patel, she unleashed a flurry of boundaries – seven in a row – showcasing her power and precision. Each shot was a masterclass in timing and placement, leaving the bowlers helpless and the crowd roaring with excitement.

Her innings wasn’t just about brute force; it was a display of strategic brilliance. She knew exactly which bowlers to target and capitalized on every scoring opportunity. This wasn’t just a fifty; it was the first-ever fifty in the WPL, a landmark achievement that solidified her status as a leader and an inspiration.

Harmanpreet’s knock wasn’t just about runs on the board; it was a statement of intent. It set the tone for the entire tournament, showcasing the aggressive brand of cricket and the high-scoring matches that awaited. Her innings not only propelled Mumbai Indians to a massive 207 runs but also ignited the passion of millions watching across the globe.

This moment wasn’t just about individual glory; it was the spark that lit the fire of the WPL. It reminded everyone of the immense talent and potential within women’s cricket and served as a reminder of the exciting future that lay ahead. Harmanpreet’s blazing 65 wasn’t just the start of a match; it was the beginning of a cricketing revolution, and her name will forever be etched in the history of the Women’s Premier League.

4. Marizanne Kapp’s Five-Wicket Haul Against Gujarat Giants

4. Marizanne Kapp's Five-Wicket Haul Against Gujarat Giants WPL 2023

The ninth match of the WPL 2023 witnessed another bowling masterclass, this time by the South African all-rounder, Marizanne Kapp, who spearheaded Delhi Capitals’ victory against Gujarat Giants. Batting first, Gujarat Giants struggled against a disciplined Delhi bowling attack, quickly finding themselves under pressure.

Shikha Pandey and Radha Yadav initiated the early breakthroughs, claiming three wickets between them. However, it was Marizanne Kapp who stole the show with a spell of pure magic. Her accurate deliveries, intelligent variations, and relentless pace proved too much for the Gujarat batters.

Kapp weaved her magic, dismissing crucial batsmen like Sneh Rana, Harleen Deol, and Dayalan Hemalatha, claiming a five-wicket haul for just 15 runs. This exceptional performance not only ensured Gujarat were restricted to a paltry 99 runs but also set the stage for a comfortable 10-wicket victory for Delhi Capitals.

Marizanne Kapp’s five-wicket haul wasn’t just about statistics; it was a display of her all-round brilliance and a reminder of her status as a world-class cricketer. Her spell instilled fear in the opposition, showcased her tactical acumen, and highlighted the impact impactful bowling can have in T20 cricket. This moment etched itself in WPL history, inspiring young spinners worldwide and solidifying Kapp’s reputation as one of the most versatile and dangerous players in the game.

5. Sophie Devine’s 99 Runs of Fury Against Gujarat Giants

5. Sophie Devine's 99 Runs of Fury Against Gujarat Giants

With playoff hopes dwindling, the 16th match of the 2023 WPL saw a fiery encounter between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Giants. Both teams needed a win, and it was Sophie Devine who rose to the occasion with a knock for the ages that almost defied belief.

Chasing a challenging 188 runs set by Gujarat, thanks to Laura Wolvaardt and Ashleigh Gardner’s fifties, RCB needed a strong start. And who better to deliver than the explosive Kiwi captain, Sophie Devine? She unleashed a whirlwind innings, tearing apart the Gujarat bowling attack with raw power and precise shot-making.

Devine launched into a six-hitting spree, sending the ball soaring over the boundary on eight occasions. Her innings of 99 runs came off a mere 36 deliveries, featuring nine boundaries as well. Each shot was a testament to her aggressive intent and calculated risk-taking, leaving the crowd in awe and the bowlers helpless.

Despite falling agonizingly short of a well-deserved century, Devine’s innings single-handedly shifted the momentum in RCB’s favour. She stitched together a crucial 125-run partnership with Smriti Mandhana, laying the foundation for victory. While Mandhana fell short of her fifty, the momentum created by Devine remained, allowing RCB to chase down the target with ease.

Sophie Devine’s near-miss masterpiece wasn’t just about runs; it was a display of leadership, aggression, and pure cricketing brilliance. It served as a reminder of her ability to single-handedly change the course of a match and cemented her status as one of the most exciting players in the world. This innings, etched in WPL history, continues to inspire fans and players alike, showcasing the immense power and potential of T20 cricket.

5. Harmanpreet’s Touch of Inspiration

The Women’s Premier League wasn’t just about cricketing brilliance; it was about moments that transcended the game and touched hearts. One such moment involved Harmanpreet Kaur, the Indian skipper, and a young fan named Meher, showcasing the power of inspiration and connection.

During an off-field event, Harmanpreet spotted Meher, a young girl brimming with admiration. In a heartwarming gesture, she beckoned Meher onto the stage, creating a moment that went beyond autographs and selfies.

The camera captured a beautiful scene – the seasoned cricketer, towering over the young girl, yet connecting with her on a level playing field. They posed for a picture, smiles radiating from both faces. But the moment wasn’t over. Harmanpreet, ever the nurturer, embraced Meher gently, whispering words of encouragement that echoed across the room.

“When I was as small as you,” she said, “I’d say the same thing. I didn’t even know what women’s cricket was. But I am going to play for India.”

These simple words, filled with honesty and determination, resonated deeply with Meher and everyone present. They weren’t just a pep talk; they were a testament to the power of dreams and the importance of chasing them.

Harmanpreet’s gesture wasn’t just about making a fan’s day; it was about planting a seed of inspiration. It was a reminder that even the most accomplished players started somewhere, fueled by passion and a burning desire. In that moment, Harmanpreet wasn’t just a cricketer; she was a mentor, a role model, reminding young girls that they too could achieve their dreams, regardless of the challenges they faced.

This touching interaction wasn’t just a fleeting moment; it became a symbol of the WPL’s impact beyond the field. It highlighted the power of sport to inspire, connect, and empower young minds. Harmanpreet’s embrace wasn’t just a moment for Meher; it was a message to every young girl dreaming of playing cricket, a reminder that with passion and dedication, anything is possible.

6. Issy Wong’s Historic Hat-Trick

6. Issy Wong's Historic Hat-Trick

The WPL Eliminator match between Mumbai Indians and UP Warriorz wasn’t just a high-stakes battle for a final berth; it witnessed a historic moment etched in the record books – the first-ever hat-trick of the tournament, courtesy of the young English pace sensation, Issy Wong.

Chasing a challenging 183 set by Mumbai Indians, the Warriors needed a solid start. However, Issy Wong had other plans. In a spell that sent shivers down the spines of batters and electrified the crowd, she unleashed a fiery attack, dismantling the UP batting line-up.

Wong’s pace, accuracy, and variations proved unplayable. She rattled the well-set Kiran Navgire, who was trapped LBW. The tension escalated as she delivered a beauty, castling the dangerous Sophie Ecclestone. The crowd erupted in a frenzy as she completed the hat-trick, dismissing Simran Shaikh with a searing yorker.

This wasn’t just any hat-trick; it was a moment of pure cricketing magic. At just 20 years old, Issy Wong inscribed her name in WPL history, showcasing her immense talent and potential. Her exceptional spell, which included four wickets for just 15 runs, not only sealed a crucial victory for Mumbai Indians but also served as a defining moment in her young career.

Wong’s historic hat-trick wasn’t just about personal glory; it was a message to the world. It highlighted the rising talent within women’s cricket and inspired young players worldwide to dream big and strive for excellence. This moment, forever etched in WPL memories, signifies the bright future of women’s cricket and the exciting talents waiting to be discovered.

7. Jemimah’s Boundary Bop: Dancing Her Way into WPL Hearts

The Women’s Premier League wasn’t just about cricketing brilliance; it was also a platform for personalities to shine, and few shone brighter than the effervescent Jemimah Rodrigues. Known for her infectious energy and quirky antics, Jemimah didn’t disappoint, bringing her unique charm to the field and beyond.

Right from belting out the Delhi Capitals’ anthem during an interview to serenading teammates with her guitar skills, Jemimah added a spark to the already vibrant league. But her most iconic “Jemimah-ness” moment came in the form of an impromptu dance performance on the boundary ropes.

During Delhi’s opening match against RCB, with the Capitals cruising towards victory, Jemimah, ever the entertainer, couldn’t contain her excitement. As the crowd roared with each boundary, she broke into a joyous jig, twirling and stepping to the beat of the stadium music. Her infectious energy was contagious, sending the crowd into a frenzy and melting hearts across the cricketing world.

This wasn’t just a dance; it was a celebration of joy, passion, and the pure love for the game. It highlighted Jemimah’s personality, unafraid to express herself and connect with the fans in a unique way. It was a moment that went beyond cricketing skills, showcasing the vibrant spirit that makes women’s cricket so special.

Jemimah’s boundary bop wasn’t just a fleeting moment; it became a symbol of the WPL’s spirit. It reminded us that cricket is more than just runs and wickets; it’s about entertainment, passion, and connecting with fans. And with her infectious energy and quirky charm, Jemimah Rodrigues danced her way into the hearts of WPL fans, creating a memory that will forever be etched in the tournament’s history.

8. Burger Cravings and Unexpected Surprises: Bhogle Serves Up a WPL 2023 Moment

8. Burger Cravings and Unexpected Surprises: Bhogle Serves Up a WPL 2023 Moment Grace Harris

The inaugural WPL 2023 season was filled with unexpected moments, and one that captured hearts and sparked laughter was the “burger incident” involving Grace Harris and commentator Harsha Bhogle.

In the very first match, the Australian powerhouse announced her arrival with a match-winning knock of 59 runs off just 26 deliveries. During the post-match interview, she confessed her love for burgers and her desire for one, leaving fans wondering if she’d get her hands on her favourite post-victory treat.

Adding another layer to this moment, Grace was benched for the next match, leaving the burger dream seemingly out of reach. However, fate (and the WPL production team) had other plans. During a mid-game interview on the sidelines, Harsha Bhogle surprised Grace with a burger, much to her delight and the audience’s amusement.

This unexpected gesture transcended a simple burger delivery. It was a heartwarming moment that connected a player with her fans, showcasing the playful spirit of the WPL 2023. The joy on Grace’s face and the laughter shared by the entire stadium spoke volumes about the impact of this light-hearted interaction.

This incident became more than just a funny anecdote; it symbolized the WPL’s ability to create unique and memorable moments beyond the cricketing action. It highlighted the human element of the sport and the connection between players and fans. The “burger surprise” proved that the WPL was not just about competition; it was also about entertainment, fun, and creating lasting memories.

9. Harmanpreet’s Celebration as Mumbai Indians Triumphs in WPL 2023

The inaugural WPL 2023 final etched itself into history, not just for the thrilling run chase but also for the emotional moments it captured. One such moment belonged to the Indian skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur, whose animated celebration mirrored the collective joy of the Mumbai Indians squad.

Chasing 132 runs for victory, Harmanpreet displayed her captaincy acumen, steadying the ship after early wickets. Her experience shone through as she stitched a crucial partnership with Nat Sciver-Brunt, putting MI within reach of the trophy.

While a brilliant run-out ended her own knock at 37 runs, Harmanpreet’s impact was undeniable. But the true essence of her leadership came in the penultimate over. As Amelia Kerr smashed consecutive boundaries, bringing the equation down to a manageable six runs, the camera panned to the dugout, capturing a moment of pure, unadulterated joy.

Harmanpreet didn’t hold back. She wasn’t just a seasoned cricketer; she was a fan, a teammate, and a dreamer, living every moment with her team. The clenched fist, the triumphant punch – it was a celebration that resonated with every MI supporter, every aspiring cricketer, and every dreamer watching.

When Sciver-Brunt sealed the victory with a boundary, the eruption of emotions in the dugout was palpable. Harmanpreet, ever the leader, was at the forefront, jumping, cheering, and sharing the ecstasy with her teammates. It was a scene etched in WPL history – a team united, a dream realized, and a leader celebrating not just a victory, but the culmination of their collective journey.

This wasn’t just a celebration; it was a symbol of unwavering belief, relentless spirit, and the power of teamwork. Harmanpreet’s fist pump wasn’t just a fleeting gesture; it was a roar of triumph that echoed across the stadium, inspiring young girls and players worldwide to strive for their own moments of glory. The final wasn’t just about runs and wickets; it was about passion, leadership, and the enduring memory of a dream coming true, forever etched in the WPL narrative, thanks to the animated celebration of its champion captain.

10. Ellyse Perry’s Pink Holi Hair during the WPL 2023

The inaugural WPL coincided with the vibrant festival of Holi, and the celebratory spirit spilled onto the cricket field. While players revelled in the joyous tradition, one particular moment involving Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry became a lighthearted yet memorable highlight.

As Holi swept across India, the WPL teams embraced the festival with colorful enthusiasm. Perry, along with her Royal Challengers Bangalore teammates, immersed themselves in the festivities. This left their white uniforms painted in a kaleidoscope of colors. While most managed to wash away the vibrant hues, Perry wasn’t quite as fortunate.

Taking to social media, she hilariously sought advice on how to remove the stubborn pink tinge from her hair. Unfortunately, despite her best efforts, the color refused to budge. This left her with a unique look for the next WPL match.

Stepping onto the field with a pinkish glow radiating from her hair, Perry didn’t miss a beat. She bowled with her usual fire and skill, proving that even a vibrant hair color couldn’t dampen her cricketing spirit. The unexpected touch of pink became a conversation starter, drawing smiles from fans and reminding everyone of the playful spirit that defines the game.

Perry’s pink hair wasn’t just a fashion statement; it was a testament to her adaptability and sense of humor. It showcased the camaraderie and fun that exist alongside the fierce competition within the WPL. This lighthearted moment became a symbol of the league’s ability to embrace individuality and celebrate traditions, adding a touch of color to the already exciting tournament.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the countless moments that made the WPL 2023 an unforgettable experience. As we eagerly await the next season, remember that these inspiring moments set the stage for an even more thrilling WPL 2024. Get ready for bigger sixes, breathtaking catches, and electrifying matches as the future of women’s cricket unfolds!


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