UP Warriorz 181 for 7 (Harris 72, McGrath 57, Garth 2-29) beat Gujarati Giants 178 for 6 (Gardner 60, Hemalatha 57, Chopra 2-29, Gayakwad 2-39) by 3 wickets
Same as him first match Gujarat Giants vs UP Warriorzthis one also went down to the penultimate ball, and just like then, grace harris played the deciding hand. The end result was a three wicket victory for the Warriorz, which put them into the WPL playoffs. It also spelled the end of the road for Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first season of the WPL.
Last time out, Harris had hit an unbeaten 59 from 26 balls to lead the Warriorz to victory. He came out penultimate here after scoring 72 of 41 balls, but they were seven of seven at that stage. By then she and Tahlia McGrathwho scored 57 while building a 78-run stand with Harris, had done most of the work.
The final over had it all: desperate plunges, a breakaway, and then the clever stroke for the winning runs. sneh frogthe captain of the Giants, had the ball, but in front of her was calm sophie ecclestone, whose bat had ended the Mumbai Indians’ winning streak in their previous game. Simran Shaikh was left without the fourth ball, but with two needed for two, Ecclestone walked on his stumps and rowed Rana into the vacant fine-legged region for four.
However, it could all have been different for Rana, and the Giants, had she run Harris back at the non-striker end in the ninth over. Harris was on 11 at the time, and Rana stopped in his bowling pace and appeared to give the non-striker a verbal warning.
For the Giants, meanwhile, it was the end of a season that began with the Deandra Dottin controversyit included losing their captain Beth Mooney to injury, and only two total wins.
They had hit a respectable 178 for 6, building on an excellent 93-run partnership between D Hemalata (57 in 33 balls) and ashleigh gardner (60 in 39). Sophia Dunkley and Laura Wolvaardt were also big at the top.
That pushed them to 41 after four overs, but Alyssa Healy was turning her bowlers and brought Anjali Sarvani back in the fifth over. Left-arm closer Sarvani castled Wolvaardt on the first ball, and on the next over Rajeshwari Gayakwad hit twice, sending Dunkley and Harleen Deol back.
That’s when Hemalatha and Gardner teamed up and dug in. Hemalatha was the early aggressor, getting to fifty of 30 balls from her with some clean shots. Gardner also reached his own half-century on 35 balls, and the Giants were on their way to a big score.
But Parashavi Chopra, all 16 years old, made a difference. He broke the hold when he caught Hemalatha on the edge and, in his next over, a beautifully flown leg spin fooled the advancing Gardner for a shock dismissal.
Still, with 178 on the board, the Giants had a chance. They needed a big win to have a chance to stay in the tournament, but the goal had been given a chance. It got even better for them when the Warriorz hit 39 for 3 in the fifth over.
Given the Warriorz lineup, the game hinged on the partnership between McGrath and Harris, and the two Aussies met the challenge magnificently. They couldn’t finish the job, but they did enough.