WPL 2024: 'That’s the best I've seen...', says Grace Harris on Navgire’s match-winning fifty

Bengaluru, Feb 29 (IANS): After Kiran Navgire slammed a match-winning half-century against Mumbai Indians to give UP Warriorz their first win of 2024 Women’s Premier League (WPL), all-rounder Grace Harris said it was the best she had seen the right-handed batter play so far.

While restricting Mumbai Indians to 161/6, Warriorz’ designated opener Vrinda Dinesh suffered a freak shoulder injury while fielding in the 14th over, which meant Kiran had to open the batting alongside captain Alyssa Healy.

She made her promotion count by smashing an eye-catchy 31-ball 57, laced with six fours and four sixes, apart from sharing a 94-run opening partnership to set the base for the Warriorz’ getting a seven-wicket win.

"Credit to the coaching staff and our playing group. We’re trying to execute our plans and improve upon our weaknesses. We’ve got a young group, so they’re still developing their own skills. It’s been a great learning experience for them.

"That’s the best I've seen Kiran hit. She got a 50 in one of the games last season and she celebrated like MS Dhoni. I was expecting that celebration tonight, so I'm disappointed, to be honest (laughs)," said Grace to JioCinema after the match.

Sushma Verma, the India wicket keeper-batter who's on Hindi expert panel, felt Kiran exhibited her strengths well and now wishes to see her play for long for the Warriorz. "Kiran has the strength to hit the ball for sixes. Today, she played her shots depending on the merit of the delivery.

"The shot she played by stepping out to Saika (Ishaque), that was a challenging length. It’s not easy to play shots like that. You need power and technique, and she showed all of that. Her shots on Nat Sciver-Brunt and Issy Wong were extremely praiseworthy. She has shown maturity but now she needs to become a player that can be reliable over a longer innings as well."

Grace also contributed to the chase by hitting 38 not out off 17 balls and sharing an unbroken 65-run partnership with Deepti Sharma (27 not out off 20 deliveries) to help the Warriorz’ complete the chase in 16.3 overs.

"I’ve been watching all the WPL games, so that way I know what everyone else has done. Ashleigh Gardner or Shreyanka Patil, another off-spinner. Then I just see how I can do better or if I can spot a weakness in their stance or where they're trying to hit the ball," said Grace.

Reema Malhotra, the former India women’s cricketer, felt Grace justified the backing given to her by Alyssa. "We got to see why Grace Harris was backed by (Alyssa) Healy in tonight's innings. She’s a finisher and hits great shots because you need a batter in the middle-order that can score runs quickly.

“I think after you see two wickets fall, you need a batter that can ensure a third wicket will not follow. That’s what Grace Harris does. There’s grace in her batting and the way she can hit big shots, we get to see innovative cricket, power, and a wide range of shots."




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Title: WPL 2024: 'That’s the best I've seen...', says Grace Harris on Navgire’s match-winning fifty

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