When UP Warriorz squares off against Delhi Capitals at the Brabourne Stadium on Tuesday, both teams will be hoping to fix their weaker links ahead of the playoffs.
Both Capitals and the Warriorz have sealed their spots in the last three, with a game to spare, and a rather inconsequential group-league fixture will give the sides an opportunity to check their bench strength and open a window for some experiments.
However, the focus will once again be on Grace Harris, who came up with a classy 72 against the Gujarat Giants on Monday, to seal a playoff berth for the UP outfit. Being one of the key players for the Warriorz, the Aussie power-hitter was left out for a few games after her half-century gave the team a winning start to the tournament.
But coming back into the XI at a crucial juncture of the tournament, she has stamped her class with crucial knocks of 46, 39 and 72 to bolster the team’s middle order. Her efforts have not only assured the team of a berth in the knockouts, but have also earned praise from team-mates.
“She’s been unbelievable. It goes to show how good she has been in situations like that,” Sophie Ecclestone said on Monday.
“I know she didn’t make it to the end tonight but I think she put us in the winning position. She’s so calm and collected and she knows what she’s doing. She’s cemented her place in the side and I am happy for her…” the England all-rounder said about Harris.
Coming in at a time when the team was struggling at 39 for 3, Harris forged a crucial 78-run stand with compatriot Tahlia McGrath and eventually paved the way for Warriorz’ three-wicket win against the Giants.
“With short boundaries and a quick outfield, I knew we were always in the game. I was a bit scratchy at the start but I found my range later,” Harris told broadcasters, before adding with a smile: “I like to finish game.”
And as the playoffs nears, Warriorz, too, would want Harris to finish games in her own way; in her own style!
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