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WPL 2024 PIX: Harris powers UP Warriorz to easy win!

Source: PTI
March 01, 2024 23:01 IST
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Images from the Women's Premier League match between Gujarat Giants and UP Warriorz in Bengaluru on Friday.

IMAGE: UP Warriorz's Grace Harris celebrates her half-century against Gujarat Giants during the WPL 2024 match in Bengaluru on Friday. Photograph: BCCI

Grace Harris blasted a quickfire half-century to help UP Warriorz negate a sluggish surface and register an emphatic six-wicket win against Gujarat Giants in their Women's Premier League match in Bengaluru on Friday.


Harris smashed a quickfire 60 not out from 33 balls, hitting nine fours and two sixes, while skipper Alyssa Healy made 33 from 21 balls, as Warriorz cruised to 143 in 15.4 overs for their second win in the tournament.

Giants were restricted to 142/5 in their 20 overs after left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone (3/20) used a rough deck to her advantage.

IMAGE: Grace Harris plays the scoop. Photograph: BCCI

Harris gave finishing touches to her good work with an outstanding innings.

The Australian right-hander used her reach and force to telling effect to keep the pressure on the Giants bowlers after Healy gave them a fantastic start in the Power Play.

The diminutive Australian smashed pacer Meghana Singh for three successive fours in the third over as the UP outfit raced to 33 in just three overs. They were sitting in control after reaching 69/2 in six overs of the Powerplay.

IMAGE: UP Warriorz captain Alyssa Healy hits out. Photograph: BCCI

The Giants also suffered a major blow when Harleen Deol had to limp off the field after she landed on her knees while trying to stop the ball near the ropes.

But the Gujarat side showed some signs of a comeback when they collected the quick wickets of Healy, debutante Chamari Athapathuthu and Shewta Sherawat to reduce UP to 90/4 in the 11th over.

They needed 53 more runs to finish the chase at this stage but Harris and Deepti Sharma (17 not out) amassed the runs in just 30 balls to propel their side to victory.

Earlier, Gujarat Giants batters struggled to get going against spinners on a slow surface, settling for a slightly below-par 142/5 in their 20 overs.

IMAGE: Phoebe Litchfield of Gujarat Giants on the attack. Photograph: BCCI

After being asked to bat first, Giants made a fine start as Lara Wolvaardt (28 from 26 balls) helped them reach 41 for no loss in six overs of the Powerplay for the loss of skipper Beth Mooney.

Wolvaardt smashed Anjali Sarvani for three fours in a row through the off-side as the pacer erred with her line.

But once the Powerplay ended, Giants slipped into a period of hibernation, going without a boundary for 23 balls, and the dismissal of Wolvaardt too did not help their cause.

Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone was the pick of UP bowlers with a three-wicket haul.

It required a forceful 52-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Phoebe Litchfield (35 from 26 balls) and Ashleigh Gardner (30 from 17 balls) to add a touch of respectability to their total.

IMAGE: Ashleigh Gardner's late assault rallied Gujarat Giants to 142. Photograph: BCCI

Litchfield, who was dropped on 19 by Deepti Sharma off Sophie Ebrought, brought her hockey background into her batting, using those supple wrists to manoeuvre the ball into the corners behind the wicketkeeper. Her reverse scoop off left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad for a boundary was a treat to watch.

At the other end, Gardner was all about raw power and smart placement. Gardener muscled her Australian team-mate Grace Harris over midwicket for a six as Gujarat tried to make up for the lost time.

But the flowering alliance was snapped when Gardner's attempt to reverse-scoop ended in the hands of debutant Chamari Athapaththu near short fine leg.

In the same over, Litchfield was run out while trying to steal a quick single as Saima Thakor's direct throw beat her to the crease.

Litchfield's dismissal also ended Gujarat's hopes of raking in some quick runs in the death overs.

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