Chasing a tough 170-point target, Warriorz was nearly out of the hunt, faltering at 105-for-7 in the 16th. It was then that Harris was joined in the middle by Sophie Ecclestone (22* from 12) and the pair turned the game upside down with an unbeaten partnership to 70 runs from just 4.1 overs.
As it happened: UP Warriorz vs Gujarat Giants
Needing 19 runs for the final, beaten by Annabel Sutherland, Harris kept his team in the hunt by hitting the first ball over the center wicket for a six. A two-ball four then changed the scenario to 6-for-3 for the Warriorz. Harris then leveled the score with another four on the fourth ball, before heading home in style with a six as they chased the target with a ball to spare.
Pacer Kim Garth (5 for 36), who joined Gujarat as a replacement for Deandra Dottin, produced two superb overs to put Gujarat in the driver’s seat before the Harris-Ecclestone stand took the game away from them.
Grace Harris has scored a match-winning 59* from just 26 deliveries as she becomes our best performer at second inn… https://t.co/0ylW9SElEP
– Women’s Premier League (WPL) (@wplt20) 1678037919000
Twenty-four hours after they crashed at 64 all in the WPL In the opener, the Gujarat Giants showed their unflappable spirit and revived their hopes as Garth cut UP to 20/3 in three overs.
Irish-Australian rookie, Garth blasted the UP top spot en route with his 5/36, the WPL’s second fife – both coming on the same day.
Shortly after a little-known Tara Norris of an associated nation (USA) picked WPL’s top fife, it was time for another nondescript cricketer to set the WPL on fire with the wickets of ‘Alyssa Healy (7), Shweta Sherawat (5) and Tahila McGrath. (0) in one out.
After a quiet first in which Healy smashed a half volley for a boundary, Garth bounced back to take a superb hold on his own bowling on his second attempt to dismiss the Aussie star.
Garth got his second scalp by dismissing Sehrawat thanks to a top-notch hold from Mansi Joshi. She followed it up by counting McGrath for a golden duck that reduced UP to 20/3 inside the third over.
𝘼 𝙁𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙊𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙏𝙝𝙧𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙧 💥The @UPWarriorz record their first #TATAWPL victory 👌👌PURE JOY for Grace Harris who… https://t.co/HDAX
– Women’s Premier League (WPL) (@wplt20) 1678037908000
Promoted to No. 3, the hard-hitting burly Kiran Navgire then revived UP’s hopes with an aggressive fifty.
They lost half their team after Navgire left after a 43 ball 53 (5×4, 2×6) fight with Garth taking his fourth scalp of the day.
Number six hitter Harris then took charge of the proceedings, but the wickets continued to fall with Garth running to his fife after clearing Simran Shaikh.
After cutting UP to 105/7 in 15.4 overs, the Gujarat Giants were aiming for an easy win but Sophie and Harris had other ideas.
Needing 65 of the final four overs, UP broke free when Harris danced down the lane to smash Tanuja Kanwar for a six over midwicket.
Garth ended up losing 20 in his last game with Harris and Ecclestone breaking four boundaries, to bring the equation down to 33 on 12 balls.
Ecclestone crushed Gardner for a six in a 14-point penultimate.
Seamstress Annabel Sutherland was then given the task of defending 19 in the final over and Harris pulled her off for a six on the first ball. Ten needed four balls, Harris kept calm and hit her for a boundary and called a review for a wide that was given in favor of UP. She then sealed the victory with a limit and a six.
Returning to the same spot a day after suffering a 143-point loss to Mumbai Indians, the Gujarat Giants rode Sneh Rana’s counterattack 46 from 32 balls to set up a par 169 for six.
World’s No. 1 ranked T20I player Sophie came back with 2/25, while Deepti also bagged two (2/27) as the spin duo operated smartly in the middle overs to thwart the progress of the Gujarat.
Returning to the same venue a day after folding 64 to suffer a 143-point loss to Mumbai Indians in the WPL opener, the Gujarat Giants got off to an explosive start after opting for the bat.
Sabbhineni Meghana (24; 15b) and Sophia Dunkley (13; 11b) countered Anjali Sarvani’s pace attack with aplomb. Meghana started with consecutive limits before Dunkley started with as many fours.
The Giants were sailing 10-over after three overs when Deepti gave the crucial breakthrough when she yorked the batter in her first over.
At the other end, Sophie Ecclestone also came into the picture, dismissing Meghana from her third delivery.
Ecclestone got her second wicket when she fired Annabel Sutherland (8) cheaply, while Tahlia McGrath made it 76/4 towards the halfway mark after having wicketkeeper batsman Sushma Verma (9).
But Harleen relaunched their innings with world’s best all-rounder Ashleigh Garnder (25) as the pair made rapid progress through the middle.
Ashleigh looked inauspicious as she hit Deepti for a boundary in the 16th, but the Indian off-spinner knocked her down with a jerky delivery to crush the batter.
But Harleen made sure they kept the momentum going when she hit Devika Vaidya for three straight boundaries but missed fifty points par four after being dismissed by Anjali Sarvani.
(With PTI entries)