Matches (11)
IPL (2)
County DIV1 (5)
County DIV2 (4)
8th Match (N), Bengaluru, March 01, 2024, Women's Premier League
(15.4/20 ov, T:143) 143/4

UPW Women won by 6 wickets (with 26 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
60* (33)
Cricinfo's MVP
124.47 ptsImpact List

Ecclestone three-for, Harris blitz hand Gujarat Giants third defeat

Harris' unbeaten 60 pushed UP Warriorz level with the other four sides on points

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
Grace Harris led UP Warriorz to victory with her unbeaten 60  •  BCCI

Grace Harris led UP Warriorz to victory with her unbeaten 60  •  BCCI

UP Warriorz 143 for 4 (Harris 60*, Kanwar 2-23) beat Gujarat Giants 142 for 5 (Litchfield 35, Ecclestone 3-20) by six wickets
Grace Harris' third consecutive fifty against Gujarat Giants left Beth Mooney's side winless after three matches and pushed UP Warriorz level with the other four sides on points. Harris' unbeaten 60 off 33 balls included nine fours and two sixes and turned what was becoming a tense contest into a one-sided affair. Warriorz became the sixth side to win chasing at the M Chinnaswamy in eight matches.
In the end, Giants will reflect on a batting line-up with plenty of big names but not enough big runs. Though they put on their highest total of the tournament so far, none of their batters got more than Phoebe Litchfield's 35 and they were kept quiet by a wily Warriorz attack.
Warriorz only bowled one over of seam and it was from Anjali Sarvani in the powerplay. It cost 13 runs and prompted a squeeze by spin, which was successful except for three overs. Between the 15th and 18th over, Giants scored 40 runs as Litchfield and Ashleigh Gardner shared a 52-run stand for the fifth wicket.
The chase was off to a speedy start thanks to Alyssa Healy's 21-ball 33 and then all Warriorz as Harris played her power game to secure victory.

Wolvaardt, Litchfield chip in

At the top, Giants tried a third combination in as many games and got their best result. Laura Wolvaardt, playing her first game of the WPL season, opened with Beth Mooney and they shared a 40-run stand. It was an improvement on 3 between Mooney and Veda Krishnamurthy and 11 between Mooney and Harleen Deol. Wolvaardt unfurled back-to-back drives through the offside in the second over to get things going and demonstrated a strong leg-side game too.
Later in the innings, Litchfield, coming in at No.4, played to reputation and gave a meandering innings some urgency. After single-digit scores in her first two matches, she was put down on 19 and went on to hit the biggest six of the innings, when she slammed Deepti Sharma over deep mid-wicket. Litchfield and Ashleigh Gardner shared the Giants' first 50-run partnership of the tournament and gave their attack something to bowl at.

Ace from Ecclestone

The leading bowler in T20Is showed why she is so highly ranked and took three crucial wickets to keep Giants under control. Sophie Ecclestone's opening came in the powerplay when Mooney tried to loft her over mid-off but popped a catch to Harris in the circle. Her second came courtesy of a squeeze by spin - Giants bowled 19 boundary-less balls - and Wolvaardt decided she had to go over the top but sent a simple chance to Chamari Athapaththu - who made her WPL debut - at mid-off. She should have had Litchfield out for 19, but Deepti shelled the chance at cover. Athapaththu made up for the mishap when she gave Ecclestone her third and took a good running catch from short fine to see the end of Gardner, for 30.

Athapaththu checks in

After going unsold at auction both last year and this, Athapaththu snuck in through the backdoor as a replacement for Lauren Bell. She had to wait for the third match to get into the starting XI and for the second half of it to do what she does best: bat. In the interim, she opened the bowling and finished with figures of 0 for 19 in four overs - the most economical of the attack. But it was only when Kiran Navgire top-edged Tanuja Kanwar and was caught at short third that Athapaththu, the batter, made her WPL debut. She allowed herself a sighter and blocked the first ball for four but then showed off her strong wrists to dispatch the second through midwicket for four. And that's what so many have been waiting for. Her partnership with Healy lasted just four balls, and Harris dominated strike thereafter, but when she had the opportunity, she capitalised. She hit three more fours and fell for a sprightly 17 to suggest the best is yet to come.

Grace goes through the gears

Warriorz wobbled when they lost Athapaththu and Shweta Sehrawat in the space of three overs but they had Harris on hand. At the time Sehrawat was bowled, Harris was on 25 off 17 balls and Warriorz needed 53 runs off 56 balls. In the next over, she drove Sneh Rana down the ground with pinpoint accuracy and even though she would play the paddle down leg and the slog over cow corner, it was the shot down the ground that was the highlight. She played it again at the start of the 15th over with even better timing. She got to 50 off 30 balls and the Warriorz needed eight runs off 31 balls. She took them over the line with 26 balls to spare.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent for South Africa and women's cricket

Win Probability
UPW-W 100%
100%50%100%GG-W InningsUPW-W Innings

Over 16 • UPW-W 143/4

UPW Women won by 6 wickets (with 26 balls remaining)
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