Grace Harris stuns cricket world with 'insane' final-over heroics in WPL

The Aussie is the toast of the cricket world after leading the UP Warriorz to victory over Gujarat Giants.

Grace Harris, pictured here blasting 22 off the final over in the Women's Premier League.
Grace Harris blasted 22 off the final over in the Women's Premier League. Image: Getty

Australian star Grace Harris is the talking of the cricket world after some incredible final-over heroics in the Women's Premier League. Playing in her first game for the UP Warriorz, Harris needed 19 off the final over on Sunday to beat the Gujarat Giants.

Not only did she get the 19 required, she added three more for good measure with one ball to spare. The big-hitting all-rounder smashed two sixes, two fours and a two off the final final deliveries to secure her side an unlikely victory in the inaugural WPL.

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It capped off a remarkable seven days for Harris, who helped Australia win the T20 World Cup final against South Africa last week. Her heroics on Sunday handed national teammate Alyssa Healy a loss in her first game as Giants captain.

"Grace is Grace - that's the only way to describe her," Healy said after Harris's brilliant unbeaten knock of 59 off 26 balls. The Lucknow-based Warriorz chased down Gujarat's total of 6-169 to win by three wickets with just one ball to spare.

Harris, one of the great characters of the Australian game, was named player of the match. "I started poorly and I thought I was fluffing around," she said afterwards.

The Aussie star produced an unbeaten partnership of 70 off just 26 balls with English spin star Sophie Ecclestone. Harris blasted the final over for six, wide, two, four, wide, four and six.

"Great feeling to finish over the line. No hassle, good fun, drinks and burgers at the end of the day!" she laughed.

Meg Lanning makes incredible start as Delhi captain

Earlier, Australia's national team captain Meg Lanning made a similarly dazzling start as skipper of the Delhi Capitals, smashing a blistering 72 to set up an emphatic 60-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at Brabourne Stadium. The Aussie talisman blasted 14 boundaries in her 43-ball innings, sharing a hugely entertaining opening partnership of 162 with teenage Indian star Shafali Verma (84 off 45 balls).

Lanning said she was relishing her new challenge in the potentially game-changing league, featuring all the best players in the world. "It was a lot of fun," said the seven-time world champion. "The crowd was amazing, the atmosphere was great and it's nice to start off with a win. It was very important to get some momentum early."

Meg Lanning and Shafali Verma, pictured here starring for the Delhi Capitals against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Meg Lanning and Shafali Verma starred for the Delhi Capitals against Royal Challengers Bangalore. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

However it wasn't all good news for Australia's contingent in the WPL. Annabel Sutherland delivered the fateful last over to Harris, conceding 24 runs in all. She produced two wides before Harris clocked a full-toss over deep backward square for the winning six.

And Gujarat captain Beth Mooney was unable to take the field after injuring her knee in Saturday's tournament-opening match. The Aussie veteran will be much-needed after two wins from two games, but won't know the extent of the knee problem until Monday.

Aussie bowler Megan Schutt was hammered for 45 off four wicketless overs for Bangalore. She smacked 30 not out off 19 balls at the end of the innings, but they came as consolation runs as her side finished well short of Delhi's total of 2-223.

Ellyse Perry hit 31 off 19 balls for RCB, but she was bowled by American player of the match Tara Norris, who finished with remarkable figures of 5-29 off her four overs.

with AAP

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