Ellyse Perry and Ash Gardner knocked out of WPL in brutal $850,000 twist
The Aussie players couldn't help their sides advance to the playoffs of the Women's Premier League.
Ellyse Perry and Ash Gardner have failed to guide their respective teams into the Women's Premier League playoffs, with both Aussie stars eliminated from contention on Monday. Gardner and Perry are among the highest-paid players in the new T20 league for women, scoring $558,000 and $297,000 respectively at last month's auction.
But despite some brilliant performances, the Aussie stars haven't been able to help their sides advance. Gardner made 60 from 39 balls for the Gujarat Giants against UP Warriorz on Monday, while also taking the wicket of fellow Aussie Tahlia McGrath and affecting a runout in a fine all-round display.
HUGE MOVE: Aaron Finch and Marcus Stoinis in $174m development
'CATCH OF THE CENTURY': Cricket fans stunned by Steve Smith act
But her efforts weren't enough to prevent her franchise being eliminated, with the Warriorz securing their spot in the playoffs with a tense victory. Aussie batter Grace Harris blasted 72 off 41 balls as the Warriorz chased down the Giants' total of 6-178 with three wickets and a ball to spare.
Harris maintained her competition-leading average in the process, while McGrath made 57 off 38 - her third half-century of the tournament. The Aussie duo produced a fourth-wicket partnership of 78 off 54 balls after the Warriorz slipped to 3-39 in the powerplay - with skipper Alyssa Healy first out for 12.
With eight balls remaining and seven needed to win, Harris departed to Kim Garth, caught at long-on after lofting her compatriot for six in the same section of the ground. England's Sophie Ecclestone then kept her cool and paddled the penultimate ball for four to ensure the Warriorz would progress and the Giants didn't.
The Giants have the most Australians of any of the five franchises, but lost captain Beth Mooney to injury in the very first match. Besides Mooney, Gardner and Garth, they also have Annabel Sutherland and Georgia Wareham in their squad, while Rachel Haynes is coach.
"Our batting unit held their nerve and got the job done," Healy said after the win. "Grace, Tahlia and Sophie are doing amazing things for the bat for us."
Harris added: "I started again pretty scratchy, so I'm glad I was able to catch up. I'd love to finish a game off and still be out there, last couple of games I've got out at the wrong time, so that's a key learning for next time."
McGrath said: "It's fun batting with Grace. She makes it look easy, she commentates on her own batting - she's just a freak."
The result also eliminated Royal Challengers Bangalore from contention despite them having one game remaining. It means Perry, Megan Schutt, Erin Burns and coach Ben Sawyer will make an early return to Australia after missing out on a playoff spot. Schutt previously declared RCB hadn't been good enough considering their star-studded team, while fans have been critical of their 'terrible' flop.
RCB women have obviously been a terrible team but still not as bad as the men’s team of 2017 or even 2014 for that matter #WPL2023
— Ashwin Kumar (@ashwin_kumarV) March 20, 2023
Now i feel so bad that I don't even want to make #rcb jokes. They must be feeling terrible. Such a bad phase for them ☹️. Cricket is such a brutal game. Both Richa and smriti are under huge pressure. #RCBvUPW #toughluck #wpl23 #SmritiMandhana #EllysePerry #richaghosh
— BeFairInLife (@BeFairInLife) March 10, 2023
RCB lost fifth consecutive match.
That's horrible run for them.
Even not good strategy. Playing almost same player each n every match.
Must feel for RCB fans. #RCBvsDC #TATAWPL
— Abhijeet Andansare (@ImAbhijeet01) March 13, 2023
Meg Lanning leads Delhi Capitals to top of WPL ladder
In the later game, the Delhi Capitals thrashed Mumbai Indians by nine wickets to move to the top of the ladder. The Capitals, Indians and Warriorz are all still in contention for direct entry to Sunday's final.
The Indians were restricted to 8-109 while batting first, with Marizane Kapp taking 2-13, Shikha Pandey 2-25 and Australia's Jess Jonassen 2-25. The Capitals then knocked off the runs in just nine overs, with captain Meg Lanning making 32 not out off 22 balls.
However the Australian was overshadowed by the brutal hitting of Shafali Verma, who made 33 off 15, and Alice Capsey (38 not out off 17). "It was a great game, hard to fault much," said Lanning. "Everybody did a role, to chase it down like that was very special."
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.