Women’s Premier League: UP show ‘Warriorz’ spirit

Gujarat Giants let UP Warriorz off the hook to suffer a second straight loss

NEW DELHI | Updated: 06 March, 2023 12:53 am IST
Grace Harris set the stage on fire with her attacking display (Photo Courtesy Twitter @wplt20)

After their 142-run hammering against the rampant Mumbai Indians, it was tough for the bruised Gujarat Giants to regroup and gear up for their next match a day later. The fact that they lost their skipper and key batter, Beth Mooney, only made things tougher for them.

However, they came out with a performance they would have been proud of. Alas, they lacked the finishing touch as they suffered their second successive loss in the Women’s Premier League – this time a thrilling three-wicket loss against UP Warriorz, with just one ball remaining.

With Mooney injured, Sneh Rana came out for the toss as the Giants made three changes, with Sushma Verma donning the wicket-keeping gloves while Australia’s Kim Garth replaced Monica Patel and England’s Sophia Dunkley coming in place of Georgia Wareham.

While Dunkley and Verma failed to make any significant impact with the bat for the Giants, it was Garth’s five-wicket haul that had their rivals on the mat before Grace Harris’ blitzkrieg (59*, 26b, 7×4, 3×6) and Sophie Ecclestone’s power hitting (22*, 12b, 1×4, 1×6) handed the Giants an agonising loss.

Smarting after their loss against MI, the Giants faced no hassle in opting to bat first after winning the toss. However, Sabbhineni Meghana and Dunkley failed to convert their start into something significant.

Harleen Deol (46, 32b, 7×4) gave a glimpse of the talent that she is while Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner (25, 19b, 2×4, 1×6) and Dayalan Hemalatha (21*, 13b, 2×4, 1×6), who was the only saving grace with the bat from the opener, gave the Giants the final push as they put up 169 for six on the scoreboard.

Deol and Gardner’s 44-run stand for the fifth wicket was also crucial to a much-improved performance from the Giants.

For Warriorz, England’s Sophie Ecclestone and Deepti Sharma picked up two wickets each.

Garth, who came in as a replacement for Deandra Dottin, ran through the Warriorz’s top order to reduce them to 20 for three by the end of the third over.

Kim Garth ran through the Warriorz top order (Photo Courtesy Twitter @wplt20)

 

A 66-run fourth wicket stand between Kiran Navgire (53, 43b, 5×4, 2×6) and Deepti Sharma helped Warriorz find some footing. Haryana medium pacer Mansi Joshi broke the partnership with the wicket of Team India’s star all-rounder Sharma, while Garth came back to pick up two wickets, those of Navgire and Simran Shaikh, in successive balls that seem to have swung the pendulum in the Giants’ favour.

Devika Vaidya departed early as Warriorz found themselves on the backfoot as they were left stranded needing 63 runs from 24 balls.

But UP found their Warriorz as Harris and Ecclestone pulled off a Houdini act as their blistering counterattack helped them reach the target with one ball to spare.

Harris set the tone when she hit Tanuja Kanwar for a six over midwicket. A very poor delivery, a full toss, by the slow left-arm spinner.

Ecclestone and Harris then skimmed 20 runs from Garth’s final over, as she ended up with 4-0-36-5. The match turned on its head.

Kiran Navgire too scored an impressive half century (Photo Courtesy Twitter @wplt20)

 

Gardner kept things relatively quiet with 14 runs in the penultimate over. And Warriorz still needed 19 from the final over.

But Annabel Sutherland, daughter of former Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, got a taste of what made her famous – hard-hitting. The DRS reviews for the wide ball calls broke the momentum as Harris gained composure to hit two sixes and two fours to seal the deal.

BRIEF SCORE: Gujarat Giants 169/6 (Harleen Deol 46, Ashleigh Gardner 25, Sabbhineni Meghana 24, Dayalan Hemalatha 21*; Sophie Ecclestone 2/25, Deepti Sharma 2/27) lost to UP Warriorz 175/7 (Grace Harris 59*, Kiran Navgire 53; Kim Garth 5/36) by 3 wickets

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