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UP Warriorz is where Grace Harris shines

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Last updated on 02 Mar 2024 | 12:18 AM
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UP Warriorz is where Grace Harris shines

In her last two innings combined, the middle-order basher has clubbed 98 runs from 50 balls without getting out

Grace Harris makes cricket look easy,” said Alyssa Healy after her team clinched a comfortable six-wicket win over Gujarat Giants on Friday (March 1). 

The all-rounder from Australia has the second highest average (76) in the ongoing WPL season, the highest strike rate (168.1) and she owns the Orange Cap (having scored 153 runs). In her last two innings combined, she has clubbed 98 runs from 50 balls without getting out. 

Yes, cricket seems easy for Grace Harris. 

In Match 6, She walked out to bat with the equation being 65 off 58 balls during the run chase. The asking rate wasn’t much but Harris belted an unbeaten 38 off only 17 balls, which won the game for the UP Warriorz with 21 balls to spare. 

The match situation wasn’t much different in Match 8 on Friday. A flurry of boundaries between the top three (Healy, Kiran Navgire and Chamari Athapaththu scored 62 runs off 40 balls among them) had put UP ahead in the game. They needed 93 from 88 balls when Harris walked out to bat. She started with a first-ball four and then continued batting, bludgeoning her way to a 33-ball 60 not out with nine fours and two sixes. That is 48 runs in boundaries. No one else in the match scored more than 35 overall. 

UP were supposed to win. And they did. But thanks to Grace battering the Gujarat bowlers, they won with 26 balls to spare. 

Women’s cricket is generally not associated with power-hitting. However, a few players rise above the general norms in sports. This season has seen Alice Capsey and Shafali Verma do that. But probably, Harris is at the top of the pile. 

In fact, she is too cool for women’s cricket. She is vocal about her love for burgers, likes to wear unmatching socks and can hit sixes with a broken bat on purpose. 

57 batters have scored over 800 runs in WT20s since 2022. Harris, with her 1583 runs, is the only batter to strike over 150 (151.4). Meanwhile, she also averages 30.4. 2022 is also the year she returned to the Australian team after being dropped in 2016. Between 2017 and 2022, she scored runs but wasn’t the beast with the bat we see now, only striking at 123.7. Harris has now missed only five of Australia’s 36 WT20Is from 2022. 

However, that oomph factor hasn’t been recognized to its potential in the star-studded Australian team. She has a limited role as a finisher at number six or seven. But at UP this year, Harris has batted all her four innings at number four. It is the perfect position for a batter like her to make an impact by clearing the outfield during the middle overs. 

“I do my homework, knowing who I have to front up against, and then from there, it is just training to take them apart. Hit as many sixes as you can,” said Harris in an exclusive conversation with, expressing her studious side about the game as well as her love for hitting sixes.  

ALSO READ: What’s it like to be Grace Harris? 

That is all she cares about. And this tournament is where she gets to shine. She is the number one here. Playing a leading role in the ‘Queendom’ of WPL. The team looks up to her. 

Come to think of it, Harris draws many parallels with the late Andrew Symonds. Both hail from Queensland. They both had off-spin as a secondary skill, though Symonds could bowl medium-pace on occasions. Both were strongly built. You can bet on them to defeat most of their peers in a physical bout. 

Moreover, Symonds was ahead of his time in the shortest format. T20 cricket was still in novelty when he left the game in 2011. It is only a decade later that we realize that the Queenslander was pretty good at it. 

In a similar vein, Harris is not yet appreciated enough for what she brings to the table in women’s cricket. There are not many striking the ball like her. The average strike rate in the tournament is 130.8. Harris is the only middle-order batter flying above this benchmark. 

All that and “she makes it (cricket) look easy.”

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