It was guts and gumption showcased gracefully as UP Warriorz defeated Gujarat Giants by three wickets in a thrilling last-over chase, and the player who made it possible, Grace Harris, said she truly loved “batting with freedom” on Sunday.
Grace smashed a 26-ball 59, studded with seven fours and three sixes, as she took the team from the brink of defeat to secure the win in the penultimate ball.
“I started poorly and I thought I was fluffing around. You need to get the conditions of the wicket and I was thankful that Sophie (Ecclestone) also motored along. Great feeling to finish over the line,” Grace said after receiving the ‘Player of the Match’ award.
The Australian said she was very clear in her mind what she wanted to do after coming in at a time when the chips were down.
Grace said she was getting edgy with the frequent DRS referrals but was determined to go after the win.
“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 the batting and score. I love batting with freedom. The coach is supportive and tells me to be free.” She got an able partner in Sophie Ecclestone and both flourished in each others’ company.
“She (Sophie) is a clean striker, and that is a part of how well I played at the end. When Sophie got a couple away, I just ran hard. It was good. Good fun. Drinks and burgers at the end of the day,” she added.
Her captain Alyssa Healy, who could only contribute seven runs in the chase of 170, also gave credit to Grace for the carefree manner in which she played.
“Full credit to Grace and our lower order in particular. Grace is Grace, that’s the only way to describe her. She has shown the world what she can do.” Kiran Navgire too scored a half-century (53) early on in the innings and Healy said the Indian was “sensational”.
“She ended up taking the opportunity and making a fifty. It’s not about the internationals (players) but also the Indians. Sophie (Ecclestone) and Deepti (Sharma) were sensational and hopefully, we can tidy things up in the next match,” added Healy