3rd Match (N), DY Patil, March 05, 2023, Women's Premier League
(19.5/20 ov, T:170) 175/7

UPW Women won by 3 wickets (with 1 ball remaining)

Player Of The Match
59* (26)

Grace Harris leaves it till late before pulling off thrilling win for UP Warriorz

Gujarat Giants suffer second loss in two days after final-over drama, heightened by DRS and wides

Abhimanyu Bose
UP Warriorz 175 for 7 (Harris 59*, Navgire 53, Garth 5-36) beat Gujarat Giants 169 for 6 (Deol 46) by three wickets
In the first two games of the Women's Premier League (WPL), the team batting first scored more than 200 and the chasing side failed to challenge the total. On Sunday night, Grace Harris bucked the trend to help deliver the tournament its first proper thriller.
Harris starred for UP Warriorz with the kind of devastating knock that has brought her back to the top level and made her a mainstay in the Australian team. A day after going down by 143 runs to Mumbai Indians and losing their captain Beth Mooney to injury, Gujarat Giants recovered from 76 for 4 in ten overs to put up 169 for 6. Then they had Warriorz down at 105 for 7, but not out. With 65 needed off 26 balls, Harris stole Warriorz a win out of nowhere.
Harris predominantly targeted the leg side but was also happy to go down the ground or over the covers, and even played a lap shot as she clobbered 59 off 26 deliveries.
But the win didn't come without its fair share of drama, which peaked in the final over of the game bowled by Annabel Sutherland, and it centred on the new provision that allows teams to use DRS for wide and no-ball decisions.
Giants tried to get a wide overturned on review after the first legal ball and failed. Two balls later, the TV umpire upheld Harris' review for a delivery that was not called a wide on the field. It was a marginal call leading to an equation that could have been 6 off 2 balls, but became 5 off 3.
By then, the crowd was entirely in Harris' corner, and when the wide was awarded, there were loud cheers all around. There were cheers in the UP Warriorz dugout, too, though captain Alyssa Healy said later that it was a lucky break for her team.
"What a bizarre rule that's been brought into WPL but it paid off tonight for us," Healy said at the press conference after the game. "It felt very dirty cheering a wide. I think our dugout felt a little bit dirty about cheering an opposition wide but, at the end of the day, it helped us, the review system. I guess that's what it's there for."
"Hopefully it doesn't come down to the last over a lot so it has to be used. Tonight it fell in our favour but in two nights' time, it might go in someone else's favour."
While the wide was being reviewed, Healy was gesturing to Harris, who was in the zone, from the dugout.
"I was just trying to tell her to calm down. She was obviously very excited, in the moment. More than anything, I didn't want her to get in trouble by the umpires," Healy said. "I was just trying to keep her calm, keep her in the moment and focus on getting the job done and she did just that."
Harris walked out when Deepti Sharma fell, and having faced just two deliveries, saw Kim Garth dismiss half-centurion Kiran Navgire and Simran Shaikh off consecutive deliveries to complete her five-wicket haul.
Just seven deliveries, and Harris was on her way, hitting her first boundary. But two balls after she hit her second, Devika Vaidya fell to Sutherland. With Sophie Ecclestone for company, Harris let loose, hitting left-arm spinner Tanuja Kanwar for a six off the last ball of the 17th over. When she returned to the strike in the next over, she took down Garth, Gujarat's best bowler on the night, for three consecutive boundaries.
"I can tell you I've not seen anyone hit the ball like Grace Harris," Garth said after the match. "When we were with Australia in the nets, nobody wants to bowl to her because you just have balls flying back at you."
Only one boundary came in the next over - a six from Ecclestone - and left Warriorz needing 19 off the last over. Harris ensured it was achieved.
"A very special cricketer, Grace. I think you saw Grace's personality out there on the field," Healy said. "I think she batted through the whole innings in the sidelines, before she even went out there. That's exactly why she's in our side, to do something as special as that."
"I started poorly and I thought I was fluffing around," Harris said after winning the Player-of-the-Match award on the official broadcast. "You need to get the conditions of the wicket and I was thankful that Sophie also motored along.
"I knew what I wanted to do. I was getting antsy when there were so many breaks in the DRS. I was able to compose myself, but I was psyched to get to bat and score. I love batting with freedom. The coach [Jon Lewis] is supportive and tells me to be free."
Earlier in the day, Giants had put in a much-improved batting display, with Harleen Deol anchoring the innings. She made 46 off 32 deliveries and found support from Ashleigh Gardner (25 off 19) and D Hemalatha (21* off 13). The highlight for Deol was when she hit Vaidya for four consecutive boundaries in the 17th over.
Giants had a great start to their defence as well, as Garth took three wickets in her second over to leave UP stuttering at 20 for 3. With Garth generating some away swing, which led to Healy getting a leading edge back to the bowler and Shweta Sehrawat slicing the ball to short third, stand-in captain Sneh Rana brought in a slip for Tahlia McGrath. The move paid immediate dividends as McGrath edged her first legal delivery to Hemalatha at first slip.
Navgire and Deepti put on 66 runs for the fourth wicket, with Navgire going on to score a half-century off 40 deliveries. In the same over - the 12th - Mansi Joshi knocked Deepti over with one that tailed back into the left-hander.
Garth came back into the attack immediately and had Navgire gloving a short ball behind to Sushma Verma and she then castled Simran Shaikh with a yorker. When Sutherland had Vaidya caught at mid-on in the 16th over, it looked like the end of the contest. It turned out to be a new beginning.

Abhimanyu Bose is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

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