WPL Match 17, Gujarat Giants vs UP Warriorz - Talking Points and Who Said What?

UP Warrioz made it to the playoff after a thrilling victory over Gujarat Giants.

By Chaitanya Prakash

Updated - Mar 20, 2023, 19:14 IST

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UP Warriorz and Gujarat Giants played out another thrilling Women's Premier League encounter at the Brabourne Stadium. Alyssa Healy's team prevailed in a last-over thriller to seal their playoff spot as they defeated Gujarat Giants by three wickets. Grace Harris and Tahlia McGrath starred in the chase for the UP-based side before Sophie Ecclestone kept her cool in an intense finale to guide her side home.

Gujarat Giants made a decent start to the match and also posted a challenging total on the back of half-centuries from Dayalan Hemalatha and Ashleigh Gardner. But Sneh Rana's bowlers failed to do the job with the ball as their opponents got over the line in an intense finale.

Watch out for the Warriorz

The Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Giants were dumped out of the WPL after UP Warriorz claimed their fourth win of the tournament to seal their playoff berth. Alyssa Healy's side are the underdogs heading into the knockout stage of the tournament but are quite capable of toppling both the Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals on their day. 

The Hemalatha- Gardner show

Gujarat Giants made a brilliant start to the game, thanks to a brisk opening stand between Sophia Dunkley and Laura Wolvaardt. However, they lost their way after the powerplay and were looking at an underwhelming total before Dayalan Hemalatha and Ashleigh Gardner upped the ante for the Giants. The duo registered 93 runs in just 61 deliveries to deflate the UP Warriorz. Both batters registered rollicking half-centuries as the Gujarat-based outfit finished with a more than competitive total of 178 runs on the board.

A familiar foe comes back to haunt the Giants

Gujarat Giants are having a season to forget in WPL 2023, and they would be sick of the sight of hard-hitting all-rounder Grace Harris. The Aussie pulled off a breathtaking chase against the same opposition earlier in the tournament and played another match-winning innings to seal UP Warrioz's place in the playoffs in a hard-fought contest. She steadied the ship along with Tahlia McGrath initially but went berserk after the latter's dismissal. She smashed 72 runs in just 41 deliveries to bring her side to the cusp of victory before departing in the penultimate over of the match.

Losing captain Sneh Rana:

The girls were amazing, they played really good cricket. I should give them the credit for putting in a good score for us. I think the girls have done whatever they have been told to do. The bowlers were good too, Kim and Gardner. (On Hemalatha's innings) She has played an amazing knock today, I mean she was effortless today. (On Grace Harris) She is a strong opponent. Anything short and in her area, would go out for sure.

Winning captain Alyssa Healy:

Box ticked, leave it to us fo having an entertaining game. Our batting unit held their nerves and pulled it off for us but credit to the bowlers as well. We lost a few wickets at the top but we have a strong middle order. We will enjoy that we have qualified. That’s all what we needed and I am really proud of the group.

Player of the match, Grace Harris: 

Will see, I haven’t got any plans for it yet but I am enjoying my game now. When the ball comes down the wicket. It’s much the same scenario when I come to bat, With short boundaries and a quick outfield, I was a bit scratchy but I found my range. Lisa gives me most of the stick. She played with me earlier in my career. Louie is chilll. We have got enthusiastic young players and I am really enjoying my time here.

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