Beth Mooney's horror start to Women's Premier League debut

The World Cup star looked in pain during the opening match.

Beth Mooney speaks to the media and Mooney leaves the field injured.
Beth Mooney (pictured left) was taken off the field and sent for scans in the opening match of India's new Women's Premier League. (Images: Getty Images/WPL)

Beth Mooney has been taken off the field and sent for scans after injuring herself while batting in her Gujarat Giants side in the opening match of India's new Women's Premier League. The Gujarat Giants were humbled as the Mumbai India blasted their way to a 143-run victory.

Mooney, in her first major captaincy role, watched her opponents rattle up a huge total of 5-207 after she sent them into bat. The player-of-the-match in the World Cup final then strode out to the crease ready to chase down the huge total.

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However, Mooney just faced four balls before she went down injured. She was helped from the field and retired hurt without scoring.

Mooney appeared to hurt her left knee while between the crease. Mooney's injury is a huge blow in the potentially game-changing league in Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium on Saturday.

And it didn't get any better for the Giants as they capitulated for 64 off just 15.1 overs. There's now a big question mark over whether Mooney will be fit to play in Sunday's second match against a UP Warriorz team captained by her Australian opening partner Alyssa Healy.

The Giants have invested heavily in Australian power, taking on Rachael Haynes as the coach, Mooney snapped up for $350,000 as captain and star batter and allrounder Ash Gardner as the joint-most expensive overseas recruit for $558,000. Fans were quick to wish Mooney a quick recovery after suffering the setback in the opening match of the inaugural tournament.

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Georgia Wareham, who like Mooney and Gardner had played in Australia's winning team in last weekend's T20 World Cup final win over South Africa in Cape Town, and Annabel Sutherland made up the Giants' powerful Aussie quartet. But the three bowlers all got carted around, conceding 100 runs off 10 overs between them, with Gardner taking 1-38 off four, Wareham 1-30 off three and Sutherland 0-32 off three.

Big-hitting Gardner, hopefully not weighed down by her huge price tag, also failed with the bat, caught at slip for a golden duck. But, fittingly, after all the Bollywood glitz that preceded the launch of the women's game's richest league, it was home hero, Mumbai captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who did most to get the tournament off to a rip-roaring start in front of an enthusiastic crowd, cracking 65 off 30 balls.

Beth Mooney speaks in a press conference.
Beth Mooney (pictured) will be a doubt for her team's next match after an injury while batting. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

"It was a brilliant start, it feels like a dream come true," said Harmanpreet, who has predicted the league will be a "game-changer" for women's cricket.

"We kept things simple and clear. Told players to play natural. Obviously it's a big day for women's cricket - but it was all about backing yourself."

Last year, five teams in the tournament sold for $806 million in a landmark moment for women's cricket.

with AAP

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