Warriorz and Capitals win in Women’s Premier League
UP Warriorz chased 63 off the last four overs to defeat Gujarat Giants on Sunday in the Women’s Premier League, while Delhi Capitals won against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Gujarat were in control defending 169-6, but Grace Harris smashed 59 not out to give Warriorz a three-wicket win.
Capitals made 223-2 before Tara Norris took 5-29 to restrict Bangalore to 163-8, securing a 60-run win.
Bangalore have the chance to bounce back against Mumbai on Monday.
Harris delivers as Warriorz pull off unlikely win (Click to view scoreboard)
Gujarat were extremely poor in Saturday’s showpiece opening game, both with the bat and in the field.
Captain Beth Mooney was ruled out with a knee injury, but that afforded a chance to England opener Sophia Dunkley, who made 13 off 11 balls.
Harleen Deol top-scored with 46 off 32 balls and Ash Gardner, who was used lower down in the order, made 25 off 19 balls.
England spinner Sophie Ecclestone took 2-25 with India’s Deepti Sharma claiming 2-27.
Gujarat were in control, reducing Warriorz to 105-7, with Australia’s Alyssa Healy out for seven and Tahlia McGrath a first-ball duck.
But then came Harris.
With 63 needed from 24 balls and then 53 from 18 balls, the Australian powerhouse played a quite sublime knock-in partnership with Ecclestone, who finished 22 not out from 12 balls.
The scenario became 33 from 12 balls with ex-Ireland international Kim Garth, who had taken 5-16 in her first three overs, taken for four boundaries in the 18th over.
Harris and Ecclestone took 14 off Gardner’s penultimate over, including a massive six from the latter over square leg.
With 19 needed from the final over, Harris hit the first ball for six, before both sides reviewed wide calls, with both going in Warriorz’s favour, in the next three balls.
It was drama of the highest order with Healy stood on the touchline dancing, before gesturing to Harris, who was fist pumping in the middle of the pitch, to calm down.
A fielding mistake gifted Harris a boundary and left the scores level before the right-hander pumped over the square-leg boundary to secure a dramatic win.
“The coach told me to be free and I just went out there and was free,” said Harris.
“There will be drinks and burgers tonight because I love burgers – but I don’t know where I’m going to find one in India!”
“Grace is Grace, that is the only way you can describe her. She showed India and the world what she can do,” said Healy.
Capitals start with a bang (Click to view scoreboard)
Meg Lanning (72 off 43 balls) and Shafali Verma (84 off 45 balls) put on a brilliant chanceless 162 for the first wicket inside 14.3 overs before both were dismissed by England captain Heather Knight in the space of three balls.
South Africa all-rounder Marizanne Kapp then smashed an unbeaten 39 off 17 balls as she shared an unbroken 60 off 31 balls with Jemimah Rodrigues, who made 22 not out.
Sophie Devine and Smriti Mandhana, who made a tournament-high £340,000 in the auction, put on 41 for the opening wicket before England all-rounder Alice Capsey removed both in successive overs.
From there, USA’s Norris starred, removing Knight, Australia’s Ellyse Perry and India’s Richa Ghosh as part of her five-wicket haul.
Capitals were the only side to sign an associate in the auction, with Norris allowed to play alongside four other overseas players.
Knight, who was bought for £40,000 after initially going unsold, hit 34 off 21 balls for Bangalore but it was a bad day for them, with their bowlers struggling, including Australia’s Megan Schutt going for 0-45 off her four overs.
Norris said: “I’m delighted. I never thought I’d have an opportunity like this in my career so just to be here has been absolutely amazing.” (BBC Sport)