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ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2023 Women's T20 league batting winner: Grace for impact

The Brisbane Heat batter broke her bat, and records, on the way to her 136 not out in an award-winning performance

S Sudarshanan
S Sudarshanan
20-Feb-2024
Harris' 136 broke the previous record for the highest ever individual score in the Big Bash League, Smriti Mandhana's 114 not out from 2020  •  Getty Images

Harris' 136 broke the previous record for the highest ever individual score in the Big Bash League, Smriti Mandhana's 114 not out from 2020  •  Getty Images

Left out of the XI for the T20I series against West Indies at home, Grace Harris showed her hunger, and possibly her frustration at the Australian selectors, by slamming an unbeaten 136 off just 59 balls for Brisbane Heat in her second match of the WBBL season. It was the highest individual score in the tournament's history.
Harris scored heavily in the arc between deep square leg and long-off, and hardly bothered to hit the ball along the ground. The most astonishing shot of the knock was her six with a broken bat.
On the player mic, she could be heard saying that she might need a new bat. "Stuff it, I'll hit it anyway," she said, and pumped a 72-metre six off fast bowler Piepa Cleary even as the handle snapped. She then smacked an 87-metre six off the next ball with the new bat.

Key moment

After the four-over powerplay, Harris was on 9 off 8 with Heat on 30 for 2. She then took the attack to Australia team-mate Alana King, welcoming the legspinner with a four and a six, and then hitting another four and two sixes off King's next over to change gears and bring up a 24-ball fifty. She scored 34 off King in the ten balls she faced from her.

The numbers

11 Number of sixes hit by Harris, the most in a single innings in the WBBL. She beat Ashleigh Gardner's record of ten from 2017.
114 Number of runs scored by Harris in fours and sixes alone, the most in the history of the tournament, beating Gardner's 96 from 2017.
230.50 Harris' strike rate in the innings, the fourth-best in the WBBL where a batter has faced at least 20 balls in an innings.

What they said

"The funniest thing was my sister [Laura Harris], the first thing she said to me was, 'You should get dropped more often'. I was like, 'Thanks for that.' But it's not really about that, I've just simply been focusing on the Heat and on my shape and my tempo in a batting innings."
-Harris after her record-breaking innings

The closest contender

Tammy Beaumont
118 vs Trent Rockets, The Hundred, Cardiff

The Welsh Fire captain scored the first century of the women's competition, helping her team post 181 for 3, the highest score in the history of the women's Hundred. It was a significant innings because Fire had struggled to find reliable batters - and wins - and accumulated 11 losses in 14 matches across the first two seasons, finishing bottom of the table on both occasions.

S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo